Friday, February 4, 2011

Belgium Supports Burma UN Commission of Inquiry

Friday, 04 February 2011 18:36 Thomas Maung Shwe

Mizzima – Burma activists in Europe on Friday welcomed the Belgian government’s decision to support the creation of a UN Commission of Inquiry to probe possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the military government.

Belgium is now the 14th nation and the 10th EU member to support the establishment of a  UN Commission of Inquiry on Burma.

Last fall, Belgium’s caretaker government indicated that it would likely support the creation of an inquiry.  Interim Foreign Minister Steven Van Ackere told a Parliamentary committee that ‘the past should not be hidden’.

‘The proposal to establish a Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity…must therefore, logically be included into this process’, he said.

In a press release heralding the move, Belgium-based Action Birmanie [Burma] said on Friday: ‘There is abundant proof of the possible crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Burmese generals, and these crimes occur increasingly.  The time has come for these [crimes] to be investigated, in order to put an end to the culture of impunity, which feeds on a daily basis the oppression in Burma.’

Belgium has been without a permanent government since last June, when federal elections produced an electoral stalemate in which the Flemish nationalists N-VA party headed by Bart De Wever became the largest party in the country.  Coalition talks between the Flemish N-VA and parties representing Belgium’s French-speaking community have dragged on for more than 230 day.

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