‘A hu­man rights night­mare’

Tempo - - News -

UNITED NA­TIONS (AFP) – UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res de­cried the hu­man­i­tar­ian “night­mare” faced by Myan­mar’s Ro­hingya on Thurs­day and de­manded that the gov­ern­ment end mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions and open hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­cess to its con­flict wracked west­ern re­gion.

“The sit­u­a­tion has spi­raled into the world’s fastest de­vel­op­ing refugee emer­gency, a hu­man­i­tar­ian and hu­man rights night­mare,” Guter­res said in a speech to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

More than 500,000 Ro­hingya refugees have flooded into neigh­bor­ing Bangladesh. The ex­o­dus came af­ter at­tacks by Ro­hingya mil­i­tants on se­cu­rity posts prompted a Myan­mar mil­i­tary crack­down last month.

The UN has re­ceived “bonechilling ac­counts” of refugees be­ing sub­ject to “ex­ces­sive vi­o­lence and se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights, in­clud­ing in­dis­crim­i­nate fir­ing of weapons, the use of land­mines against civil­ians and sex­ual vi­o­lence,” Guter­res told the pub­lic ses­sion of the coun­cil.

“This is un­ac­cept­able and must end im­me­di­ately,” he added.

Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary has been ac­cused of eth­nic cleans­ing against Ro­hingya Mus­lims.

Guter­res called on Myan­mar to halt mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions, al­low “un­fet­tered ac­cess” for hu­man­i­tar­ian aid, and the “safe, vol­un­tary, dig­ni­fied and sus­tain­able re­turn of the refugees to their ar­eas of ori­gin.”

“The re­al­ity on the ground de­mands ac­tion - swift ac­tion - to pro­tect peo­ple, al­le­vi­ate suf­fer­ing, pre­vent fur­ther in­sta­bil­ity, ad­dress the roots of the sit­u­a­tion and forge, at long last, a durable so­lu­tion,” he said.

The UN chief noted that the “sys­temic vi­o­lence” could cause un­rest to spill into the cen­tral part of Myan­mar’s Rakhine state, threat­en­ing 250,000 Mus­lims with dis­place­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.