Myanmar Violence a 'Textbook' Example of Ethnic Cleansing

Myanmar Violence a 'Textbook' Example of Ethnic Cleansing

Human Rights Watch has warned that violence by Myanmar's army against the Rohingya had all the hallmarks of a campaign of "ethnic cleansing", calling on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on the issue.

Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh) (AFP) - The situation in Myanmar is a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", the United Nations rights chief said Monday, as Washington condemned a surge in violence that has sent more than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing for Bangladesh.

If approved, increased cooperation with Myanmar's military will come amid violent crackdowns against the Rohingya Muslim community in the country's northwestern Rakhine state.

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has said the latest violence may have left more than 1,000 dead, majority Rohingya.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said the military's "brutal" security campaign was in clear violation of global law, and cited what he called refugees' consistent accounts of widespread extrajudicial killings, rape and other atrocities.

The meeting expressed grave concern over systematic brutal acts perpetrated by security forces forcing almost three hundred thousand Muslims to flee to Bangladesh besides burning their houses and worship places.

The statement amid reports that the government plans to deport thousands of Rohingyas who have fled violence in Myanmar.

Myanmar's government has denied "crimes against humanity" claims.

Zeid urged the Myanmar government to "stop pretending that the Rohingyas are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages", and called on authorities to allow his office access to investigate the situation.

He also said the government would begin registering the new arrivals on Monday.

A security official said the explosion took place at Bandarban's Naikhongchhari border in Bangladesh, while the refugees were fleeing from the Rakhine state, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

Many tell similar stories - of Myanmar soldiers firing indiscriminately on their villages, burning their homes and warning them to leave or to die. "To support the new arrivals there is now an urgent need for 60,000 new shelters, as well as food, clean water and health services, including specialist mental health services and support for survivors of sexual violence".

Some have called for the Nobel Peace Prize Suu Kyi won in 1991 as a champion of democracy to be revoked.

According to United Nations estimates, over 1,000 people may have been killed in the crackdown launched by the Myanmar Army in the Rakhine state since last month.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto leader, is facing mounting criticism for failing to protect the Rohingya, and on Monday exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama added his voice, urging her "to reach out to all sections of society to try to restore friendly relations".

In the Friday letter, Zarif also said the recent "horrifying" news coming out of the region revealed the scope of the atrocities committed against this Muslim community. Hasina is expected to visit Rohingya refugees on Tuesday.

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