Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top wars in 2012

Thursday, 29 December 2011 12:40 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – Burma is No. 10 on a list of wars in 2012, according to the International Crisis Groups (ICC ), an NGO that seeks to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts.

Louise Arbour, the group’s president, said in a statement the list reflects the ranking of wars at risk of deteriorating further in 2012.

Arbour said Burma’s civil war in ethnic border areas had a chance to show improvement in 2012.

The ICC statement on Burma said: The government's pledges on reform are being fulfilled: the military has moved out of front-line politics; top opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi was released, is engaging with the government at top levels, and is set to run in elections.

“Many other political prisoners were also released, and there are livelier debates in Parliament that are even broadcast on TV,” said the statement. “There is a major opportunity for this long-suffering country to continue in a positive direction in 2012.

The ICC said, “The outside world, particularly the West, needs to respond by engaging further and dropping counterproductive sanctions that have harmed civilians without loosening the junta's grip on power. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Myanmar in early December was the right move at the right time, but it is not enough.

“Key next steps to watch for from the regime include releasing all remaining political prisoners, passing a new media law that would curtail censorship, and signing cease-fires with armed ethnic groups that would be a key step towards ending abuses by the military in these border conflicts.”

The ICC board is chaired by Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria. Crisis Group’s president and CEO is Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.

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