Friday, 14 December, 2018

United Nations urges Myanmar's Suu Kyi to stop violence against Rohingya Muslims

United Nations urges Myanmar's Suu Kyi to stop violence against Rohingya Muslims United Nations urges Myanmar's Suu Kyi to stop violence against Rohingya Muslims
Melinda Barton | 11 October, 2017, 20:08

Since Aug. 25, when the military launched a crackdown against Rohingya, 519,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

These 900,000 people comprise more than 500,000 refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh since a fresh outbreak of violence in Myanmar on August 25, and other members of the minority Muslim community who were already in Bangladesh after earlier exoduses, estimated to be between 300,000-500,000 people. Begum says their home in Rathedaung township was attacked just before dawn two weeks ago.

In its first major report on violence in Rakhine state, the UN Human Rights Office said security forces had murdered, raped, tortured, pillaged and burned down Rohingya villages and crops.

The attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar were carried out with the premeditated aim of not only expelling them but also to prevent them from returning, said a United Nations human rights team which has investigated the violence.

Some of those interviewed said that before and during attacks, megaphones were used to announce: "You do not belong here - go to Bangladesh". Around half of the Rohingya population has been forced into Bangladesh. "If you do not leave, we will torch your houses and kill you", it said.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in Myanmar which has seen security forces and Buddhist mobs killing men, women and children, looting homes, and torching Rohingya villages.

The UN has said Myanmar's army is involved in a "systematic" effort to rid the country of Rohingya.

Renata Lok-Dessallien was the focus of a BBC investigation last month in which she was accused of suppressing internal discussion on Rohingya Muslims.

"Efforts were taken to effectively erase signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognizable terrain", it added.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein - who has described the government operations as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" - said in a statement that the actions appeared to be "a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return".