Guterres to appoint Swiss ambassador to Germany as Myanmar envoy

Christine Schraner Burgener, who also served as Swiss ambassador to Thailand from 2009 to 2015, takes up the post as UN envoy to Myanmar after a months-long search for a special emissary

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will appoint the Swiss ambassador to Germany, Christine Schraner Burgener, to be his new special envoy to Myanmar, UN sources said Wednesday.

The General Assembly in December asked Guterres to appoint a special envoy in a resolution that called on Myanmar to end its military campaign in Rakhine state.

The appointment will be announced on Thursday, just days before the Security Council travels to Bangladesh and Myanmar for a first-hand look at the Rohingya refugee crisis.

At least 700,000 Muslim-minority Rohingya have been driven out of Myanmar and are living in crowded camps in Bangladesh since Myanmar's army launched a military operation in Rakhine state.

The violence has left a trail of torched villages in its wake, with allegations of murder and rape at the hands of troops and vigilantes.

Myanmar has vehemently denied US and United Nations allegations of ethnic cleansing.

The UN spokesman did not confirm the appointment of Schraner Burgener, but said an announcement was imminent.

Schraner Burgener has also served as Swiss ambassador to Thailand.

Myanmar authorities say the operation in Rakhine state is aimed at rooting out extremists.