With the United Nations General Assembly convening this week, there are major issues on the table to discuss.
United Nations agencies say an estimated 409,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when deadly attacks by a Rohingya insurgent group on police posts prompted Myanmar’s military to launch “clearance operations” in Rakhine state. Those fleeing have described indiscriminate attacks by security forces and Buddhist mobs.
The Myanmar government says hundreds have died, mostly Rohingya “terrorists,” and that 176 out of 471 Rohingya villages have been abandoned. Myanmar has insisted that Rohingya insurgents and fleeing villagers themselves are destroying their villages. It has offered no proof to back these charges.
The U.N. has described the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar as ethnic cleansing — a term that describes an organized effort to rid an area of an ethnic group by displacement, deportation or killing.
Ethnic Rohingya have faced persecution and discrimination in majority-Buddhist Myanmar for decades and are denied citizenship, even though many families have lived there for generations. The government says there is no such ethnicity as Rohingya and say they are Bengalis who illegally migrated to Myanmar from Bangladesh.
Rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights watch have said that they have evidence that Myanmar troops were systematically targeting and setting Rohingya villages on fire over the last three weeks.
U.N. agencies fear continued violence in Myanmar may eventually drive up to 1 million Rohingya into Bangladesh.
As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh, relief camps are overflowing and food, medicine and drinking water have been in short supply.
Mohammed Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh’s junior foreign minister, said Saturday that India, Turkey, Morocco, Indonesia, Iran and Malaysia have already sent relief and the goods are waiting in an airport in nearby Chittagong. He said more aid was also expected to come via ships soon.
Facing growing condemnation globally, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend U.N. General Assembly meetings this week.
SEOUL — North Korea is seeking military “equilibrium” with the United States as a way to stop American leaders from talking about military options for dealing with Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un said after supervising the launch of another missile over Japan.
And North Korea would continue to run “full speed and straight” toward achieving this goal, Kim told his top missile unit, according to the latest statement from his state news agency.
For the second time in three weeks, North Korea on Friday sent an intermediate-range missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. It traveled for 2,300 miles in an easterly direction, landing in the Pacific Ocean. But if it had been launched south-eastward, it could easily have passed the U.S. territory of Guam, some 2,100 miles from the launch site in Pyongyang.
Kim, the North Korean leader who has pressed ahead with alarming speed on his state’s nuclear and missile programs, has been threatening to “envelop” Guam with missiles if the United States does not stop its “hostile policy” toward the North.
In the latest statement, Kim said that North Korea’s “final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military options.”
He stressed the need for the ability to launch a “nuclear counterattack the U.S. cannot cope with,” according to the Korean Central News Agency. This statement echoed previous assertions that North Korea was not seeking to attack first, but rather aiming to develop the ability to strike back.
North Korea confirmed that the missile launched Friday was, as analysts thought, an intermediate range ballistic missile that North Korea calls the Hwasong12. It was launched from a modified truck parked at Sunan airfield, near or at the main international airport in Pyongyang.
The U.N. Security Council imposed its toughest sanctions to date against North Korea on Monday, setting limits on its oil imports and banning its textile exports. But the new sanctions were a compromise. To win the support of China and Russia, the United States had to tone down its demands, which included a total oil embargo and a global travel ban on Kim.
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, walks toward a refugee camp carrying his mother, Alima Khatoon, Saturday after crossing over from Myanmar into Bangladesh.