US Envoy wants Burma government to investigate rights abuses in ethnic areas

The US special envoy and policy coordinator for Burma, Mr Derek Mitchell, urged the recently elected government to investigate human rights abuses reported in ethnic area as a first step for national reconciliation.

After concluding his first trip to Burma, Mr Mitchell read out a press statement that stated he “affirmed the government on the importance of establishing a legitimate and credible mechanism for investigating reported abuses in ethnic areas as a first step toward building trust and promoting national reconciliation through accountability.”

Mitchell’s statement also pushed the government to release “all political prisoners unconditionally, engaging in meaningful outreach to the political opposition, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and engaging in dialogue rather than armed conflict with ethnic minority groups.”

Mr Mitchell made the statement before leaving Burma after concluding his five days visit on September 14.

The special envoy also noted to the government that “many within the international community remain skeptical about the government’s commitment to genuine reform and reconciliation, and I urged authorities to prove the skeptics wrong.”

Mr Mitchell also said in his statement about his concern of the “lack of transparency in the government’s military relationship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” and “urged the government to adhere to all of its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions related to [nuclear] proliferation.”

Mr Mitchell said consider his visit “highly productive.”

Mr Mitchell said.

“I look forward to many return visits here to continue the United State’s principled engagement policy.”

Mr Mitchell said his primary goal was to introduce himself, listen to local perspectives, and establish relationships that he will build on as he proceed to fulfill his mandate and responsibilities for managing the U.S. government’s Burma policy.

During his first five-day trip, Mr Derek Mitchell met with governments, politicians, ethnic representatives and other social groups. Mr. Mitchell was appointed as the US government’s Special Envoy and Policy Coordinator for Burma in June this year.

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