Condemning violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, United Nations chief urges restraint

Condemning violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, United Nations chief urges restraint

Eighteen bodies washed ashore in Bangladesh yesterday, a border official said, lifting the toll over the last two days to 41. "Shuffling all the blame on insurgents doesn't spare the Burmese government from its worldwide obligations to stop abuses and investigate alleged violations", said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch's Asia director, in a statement.

Graphic eyewitness footage has emerged of Rohingya Muslims allegedly killed while fleeing state violence in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state. The bodies of fleeing Rohingyas are now floating in rivers. PM Modi will hold talks with the top leadership in Myanmar including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

A Bangladeshi border guard orders Rohingya refugees to return to the Myanmarese side of a canal between the two countries, August 29, 2017.

A security clampdown launched in October a year ago in Maungdaw, where Rohingya form the majority, led to a United Nations report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.

A Rohingya man passes a child though a barbed wire border fence on the border with Bangladesh.

Myanmar s Information Committee appeared earlier this week to confirm a major security operation took place around the village on Sunday afternoon as a patrol clashed with scores of Rohingya militants. Thousands of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and other local ethnic groups have also been displaced.

A 23-year-old Rohingya woman from Kyet Yoe Pyin said she had witnessed soldiers and Buddhist mobs rape and kill Muslims in her village over the weekend.

More than 400 Hindus from Rakhine have also crossed into Bangladesh, after armed men attacked their village, killing and looting.

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Mohammad Omar used to cross the border into Bangladesh to sell cigarettes but these days he has a different agenda - restocking supplies for the fledgling Rohingya militia fighting Myanmar's security forces.

In the wake of the report, Aung San Suu Kyi has accused global aid workers of helping "terrorists" in the region. This is because they got stuck in the border before they could enter.

"Many children have been killed", he told BuzzFeed News from Geneva, "many women, many elderly".

Most live in squalid and increasingly overcrowded camps in the coastal area of Cox's Bazar, and Dhaka has made clear it wants no more to come.

Myanmar classes the militants as "Bengali terrorists" and has accused them of indiscriminate murder and torching both Rohingya homes and those of other communities.

The Hefazat chief called on the Bangladesh government, United Nations and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to mount diplomatic pressure on Myanmar to put an end to the "genocide". She warned the number was likely to be revised upward.

The situation in Rakhine is a "matter of great concern", a senior MEA official said on Friday, adding, "A large number of people have lost their lives". "The Secretary-General underlines the responsibility of the government of Myanmar to provide security and assistance to all those in need".

"The (refugee) camps are swelling fast so there is a need to find additional land to build new shelters and services".

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