How can Britain justify training Myanmar’s armed forces, amid the brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, asks Alex Orr

Some 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine state in Myanmar for Bangladesh since the outbreak of violence last month, with whole villages being burned down and the government accused by the UN of ethnic cleansing (Report, 12 September). Given reports of beheadings, rape and children being deliberately shot, it raises the question of why the UK government continues to train the Burmese military. Based on reports from the UN, human rights organisations and Rohingya organisations, we are witnessing human rights violations on a scale extreme even by the standards of Myanmar’s history. Before we pontificate on the actions of the Burmese military, it helps if we put our own house in order, and that means immediately suspending training the soldiers of this brutal regime.
Alex Orr

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