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Kingdom votes against resolution on Myanmar

Rohingya at a relief centre in Cox’s Bazar. Cambodia voted against a UN resolution condemning persecution of the Rohingya. Ed jones/AFP
Rohingya at a relief centre in Cox’s Bazar. Cambodia voted against a UN resolution condemning persecution of the Rohingya. Ed Jones/AFP

Kingdom votes against resolution on Myanmar

Cambodia voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution on Sunday urging Myanmar to end a military campaign against the Rohingya ethnic minority and calling for the appointment of a UN special envoy.

The resolution was passed with 122 votes, with Cambodia voting against it alongside China, Russia, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Belarus, Syria and Zimbabwe. Twenty-four countries abstained.

The Cambodian government also voted against a draft version of the resolution in November. The vote follows a meeting earlier this month in which Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought support from Cambodia in handling the crisis, which has forced over half a million people across the border from Rakhine state since late August through systematic attacks on Rohingya villages.

The resolution asks the Myanmar government to allow aid workers into the area, access to which has mostly been barred until now. It also urges the government to grant full citizenship rights to the Rohingya and to ensure their safe return. The Myanmar government considers the Muslim minority to be migrants rather than citizens.

The resolution also calls for Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, to appoint a special envoy to Myanmar.

Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Chum Sounry said yesterday Cambodia had voted against the resolution as it went against the principle of noninterference. “We consider that the Rakhine State is [an] internal matter of Myanmar,” he said. “We stick to the position . . . not to interfere in the internal affairs.”