Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, April 22, 2013)


Myanmar/Burma - Human Rights Watch report
– Murder of a journalist (April 21, 2013)
Increase in tensions at the border between Syria and Lebanon
Human rights ambassador’s mission to Central America (April 21 to 27, 2013)

Myanmar/Burma - Human Rights Watch report

We have taken note of the Human Rights Watch report, which accuses the Burmese authorities of having carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingyas and reveals a number of disquieting facts. It is up to the Burmese authorities to shed full light on the communal violence that has been taking place in Rakhine State for a year now.

We hope that the report by the commission of inquiry established by President Thein Sein, which is due to be issued in the next few days, will provide clarification. France would like to see proposals aimed at re-establishing harmonious living conditions among the communities in Rakhine State, and at reaching, with respect to the status of the Rohingyas, a solution that ensures respect for human rights.


Somalia – Murder of a journalist (April 21, 2013)

France utterly condemns the murder, on April 21, 2013, in Mogadishu, Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh, a journalist working for Somali National Television. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

France demands that the Somali authorities do everything possible to identify, prosecute and convict the perpetrators of this crime. It urges them to take all necessary measures to allow journalists to carry out their work freely and in complete safety.

In these painful circumstances, France reaffirms its solidarity with journalists who, notably in Somalia, continue to work to ensure the circulation of free and independent information, sometimes at the risk of their own lives.


Increase in tensions at the border between Syria and Lebanon

France is deeply concerned at the increase in tensions at the border between Syria and Lebanon. During the weekend, the fighting that took place in Syria around Qusayr was accompanied by further rocket attacks against the Hermel region in Lebanon. These rocket attacks compromise Lebanon’s integrity and sovereignty and threaten the security of the Lebanese people.

France calls for the respect of Lebanon’s integrity and sovereignty. It urges all Lebanese parties to respect the commitments undertaken in the Baabda Declaration of June 15, 2012, aimed at disassociating Lebanon from the war in Syria.


Human rights ambassador’s mission to Central America (April 21 to 27, 2013)

Human Rights Ambassador François Zimeray will travel to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica from April 21 to 27, 2013.

In Honduras, Mr. Zimeray will conduct a field visit to the Bajo Aguán region which has been marked by extreme violence as a result of land disputes. This visit will provide an opportunity to encourage the authorities to involve civil society more closely in the post-conflict process.

In Guatemala, the human rights ambassador will express France’s support for the fight against impunity at a time when the country is facing up to its past in light of the complaints against Ríos Montt.

Lastly, François Zimeray’s visit to San José will provide an opportunity to demonstrate our strong convergence of views in the area of human rights and to commend Costa Rica’s pro-active approach in this field. He will also give a speech on the topic of human rights at the headquarters of the Central American Integration System in San Salvador.

This mission is consistent with the objective of strengthening relations between France and Latin America, announced by Mr. Laurent Fabius in February 2013. Mr. Zimeray will convey a message of support to human rights defenders, especially those who are fighting against the murder of women.