Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Medical | By Carla Vaughn

United Nations warns Myanmar situation 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'

United Nations warns Myanmar situation 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'

Rohingya militants, who sparked an army crackdown in Myanmar that has seen almost 300,000 Rohingya flee to Bangladesh, on Sunday declared a unilateral ceasefire to allow aid to reach the increasingly desperate refugees.

Bangladesh has been giving shelters to Rohingyas for decades and with the latest influx, the government says the number has hit 700,000. "People who speak out for fundamental human rights are also threatened", he said.

Tens of thousands more are believed to be on the move inside Rakhine after more than two weeks without shelter, food and water. An Associated Press reporter witnessed hundreds streaming through the border at Shah Puri Dwip today.

He requested the global community to help Bangladesh with urgent humanitarian assistance to address the current crisis and transport the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.

Suu Kyi, who became the country's civilian leader after her party won elections in 2015, has challenged suggestions the Rohingya are being mistreated.

"This zone is to ensure security, peace, food and protection for the Rohingya people who are facing brutal persecution, and hence, stop them from flocking to Bangladesh", he said. The continuing issue of cow vigilantism came up for criticism again - Al Hussein said: "The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming".

On Monday the United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein accused Myanmar of waging a "systematic attack" on the Rohingya and warned that "ethnic cleansing" seemed to be under way.

"This genocide needs to be tried at worldwide court", National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Haque told a news conference in Cox's Bazar.

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But there several cases that point to anti-personnel land mines or other explosives as the cause of injuries on the border with Bangladesh.

It said there were reports, backed by satellite imagery, of "security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages" and committing extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations (UN) said 294,000 bedraggled and exhausted Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since the militants' attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state on August 25 sparked a major military backlash.

In response, the military unleashed what it called "clearance operations" to root out the insurgents.

He also emphasised that Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should not keep silent and let the Rohingya Muslims to continue suffering as victims of Tatmadaw's military atrocities and becoming refugees in other countries.

Erdogan said Turkey had offered aid and said he expected that Bangladesh authorities admit and help Rohingya Muslims fleeing the violence in Myanmar. The Rohingya have long faced systematic discrimination in Burma based on their exclusion from citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law.

The Dalai Lama said he felt "very sad" about the suffering of Rohingya Muslims, and that those harassing them "should remember Buddha".

"ARSA strongly encourages all concerned humanitarian actors resume their humanitarian assistance to all victims of the humanitarian crisis, irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the ceasefire period", ARSA said in a statement.

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