Rohingya Crisis: SNP Call for UK Gov Action on Third Anniversary


Categories: Foreign Affairs, UK Government (Westminster)

The SNP’s Shadow Foreign Secretary has called on the UK government to show ambition and total commitment to tackling genocide and human rights atrocities around the world on the third anniversary of the Rohingya crisis.

Today marks three years since the outbreak of the conflict in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state that drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from their homes. It is estimated that up to three-quarters of the Rohingya people are today living outside of Myanmar, and the UNHCR have registered over 860,000 Rohingya refugees in the refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Alyn Smith MP, who has written to the Foreign Secretary, has said that the international community must not only maintain support for refugees and their host communities but adapt to changing needs and do more to find solutions to conflict, including in the cases of Yemen and Xinjiang.

The UK government still gives billions of pounds worth of arms support to regimes such as Saudi Arabia, which is continuing to wage a devastating war in Yemen – which the UN says has left them directly accountable for inflicting tens of thousands of civilian casualties. 

Alyn Smith MP said:

“On the third anniversary of the Rohingya crisis it is important that the UK government recognises it must do more to tackle genocide and human rights atrocities across the globe.

“I am pleased the UK government addressed the acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar with the forcefulness and attention it deserves, demonstrating the Foreign Office’s ability to adapt quickly and appropriately. It must now act in this same manner with regards to the situations in Yemen and Xinjiang – and it can start by suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

“The Tory government needs to take a more responsible approach in how it addresses its foreign policy as a whole – otherwise the UK risks lives and being on the wrong side of history time-after-time. This is something that must be considered as the UK looks at the Integrated Review.

“Atrocity crimes anywhere in the world have consequences for global stability and security. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, with the responsibility for global peace and security, preventing atrocities must therefore be a core function for any UK government, and it must not pick and choose when and where.”