YANGON — Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan denounced the attacks in northern Rakhine State that began late Thursday night, in a statement released on Friday.
“As Chair of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State I am gravely concerned by, and strongly condemn, the recent attacks in Rakhine State. I am saddened to hear of the loss of life of members of the security forces.”
At least 10 police and one Myanmar Army soldier were killed in attacks on 24 border guard posts, police stations and army bases by Muslim militants in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships on Thursday night and Friday morning, according to a statement on the Facebook page of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief on Friday.
The attacks occurred just one day after an advisory commission led by the former UN chief finished its year-long mandate to advise the Myanmar government on long-term solutions for the ethnically and religiously divided Rakhine State.
In its final report, the commission recommended holding the Myanmar Army to account on accusations of human rights abuses.
“The alleged scale and gravity of these attacks mark a worrying escalation of violence. No cause can justify such brutality and senseless killing. Perpetrators should be held to account. I urge the security forces to exercise restraint in dealing with the situation and above all ensure that innocent civilians are not harmed,” the statement read.
It continued, “I strongly urge all communities and groups to reject violence. After years of insecurity and instability, it should be clear that violence is not the solution to the challenges facing Rakhine State.”
The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Myanmar Renata Lok-Dessallien also released a statement on Friday condemning the attacks.
“We call on all parties to refrain from violence, protect civilians, restore law and order and resolve issues through dialogue and peaceful means. The grave events confirm the significance of government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State for the betterment of all communities,” the statement read.