Hillary backs UN probe on Myanmar rights

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw her support behind an international human rights probe in Myanmar amid growing US frustration with polls planned by the military regime.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 11:36 AM IST

Honolulu: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
threw her support behind an international human rights probe
in Myanmar amid growing US frustration with polls planned by
the military regime.

Activists have long sought an investigation into alleged
crimes against humanity in the country formerly known as
Burma, with which President Barack Obama`s administration
initiated dialogue last year.

Clinton, delivering a speech in Hawaii at the start of a
two-week trip across Asia, offered the most explicit US
backing yet for a probe, which could lead to international
warrants for junta leaders.

"I would like to underscore the United States` commitment
to seek accountability for the human rights violations that
have occurred in Burma by working to establish an
international Commission of Inquiry through close
consultations with our friends, allies and other partners at
the United Nations," Clinton said yesterday at the East-West
Center in Honolulu.

Human rights groups say Myanmar has one of the world`s
worst human rights records, with the regime detaining
thousands of opponents, systematically destroying ethnic
minority villages and using rape as a weapon of war.

Several other countries, including Australia and Britain,
also support a UN commission, which could follow the lines of
a probe on Darfur that triggered an arrest warrant on genocide
charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

PTI