UN: stop Ro­hingya cleans­ing

Daily Dispatch - - World News -

THE UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil yes­ter­day broke its weeks-long si­lence on the cri­sis in Myan­mar and called for an end to the vi­o­lence as UN chief An­to­nio Guter­res said the mil­i­tary cam­paign amounted to eth­nic cleans­ing of Ro­hingya Mus­lims.

Fol­low­ing a closed-door meet­ing, the 15-mem­ber coun­cil, in­clud­ing China – a sup­porter of Myan­mar’s for­mer rul­ing junta – ex­pressed con­cern about ex­ces­sive force in se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions in Rakhine state and called for “im­me­di­ate steps” to end the vi­o­lence.

It was the first time the coun­cil agreed on a united re­sponse to the cri­sis sparked by a mil­i­tary crack­down that fol­lowed at­tacks by Ro­hingya mil­i­tants late last month.

Some 380 000 Ro­hingya have fled to neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh and there have been grow­ing ap­peals for Myan­mar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out in de­fence of the Ro­hingya.

Suu Kyi’s spokesman ear­lier said the No­bel lau­re­ate and long-time hu­man rights cham­pion would de­liver an ad­dress next week on peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in Myan­mar.

At a press con­fer­ence in New York, Guter­res called for a halt to the mil­i­tary cam­paign in Rakhine and said the mass dis­place­ment of Ro­hingya amounted to eth­nic cleans­ing.

“I call on the Myan­mar au­thor­i­ties to sus­pend mil­i­tary ac­tion, end the vi­o­lence, up­hold the rule of law and recog­nise the right of re­turn of all those who had to leave the coun­try,” the sec­re­tary-gen­eral said.

Asked if he agreed the Ro­hingya pop­u­la­tion was be­ing eth­ni­cally cleansed, he replied: “When one-third of the Ro­hingya pop­u­la­tion has got to flee the coun­try, can you find a bet­ter word to de­scribe it?”


Pic­ture: AFP

IN­HU­MANE: Ro­hingya refugees ar­rive by boat at Shah Parir Dwip on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River af­ter flee­ing vi­o­lence in Myan­mar. The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on yes­ter­day broke its weeks-long si­lence on the cri­sis in Myan­mar

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