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Government will take over burned Myanmar land: Minister

YANGON: Myanmar’s government will manage the redevelopment of villages torched during violence in Rakhine state that has sent nearly half a million Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, a minister was reported on Wednesday as saying.

The plan for the redevelopment of areas destroyed by fires, which the government has blamed on Rohingya insurgents, is likely to raise concern about the prospects for the return of the 480,000 refugees, and compound fears of ethnic cleansing.

“According to the law, burnt land becomes government-managed land,” Minister for Social Development, Relief and Resettlement Win Myat Aye told a meeting in the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.

Win Myat Aye also heads a committee tasked with implementing recommendations on solving Rakhine’s long-simmering tensions.

Citing a disaster management law, he said in a meeting with authorities on Tuesday that redevelopment would “be very effective”. The law states the government oversees reconstruction in areas damaged in disasters, including conflict.

There was no elaboration on any plan or what access to their old villages any returning Rohingya could expect. The minister was not immediately available for comment.

Human rights groups using satellite images have said that about half of more than 400 Rohingya villages in the north of Rankine state have been burned in the violence.

Refugees arriving in Bangladesh have accused the army and Buddhist vigilantes of mounting a campaign of violence and arson aimed at driving Rohingya out of Myanmar.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has rejected U.N. accusations of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in response to coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on the security forces on Aug. 25.

The government has reported that about half of Rohingya villages have been abandoned but it blames insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army for the fires and for attacking civilians.

The government says nearly 500 people have been killed since Aug. 25, nearly 400 of them insurgents. It has also rejected accusations of crimes against humanity, levelled this week by Human Rights Watch.


The violence and the refugee exodus is the biggest crisis the government of Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi has faced since it came to power last year in a transition from nearly 50 years of military rule.

Myanmar regards the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and bouts of suppression and strife have flared for decades. Most Rohingya are stateless.

Suu Kyi has faced scathing criticism and calls for her Nobel prize to be withdrawn. She denounced rights violations in an address last week and vowed that abusers would be prosecuted. She also said any refugees verified as coming from Myanmar under a 1992 process agreed with Bangladesh would be allowed back.

But many refugees are gloomy about their chances of going home, saying they fear they lack the paperwork they expect would be demanded to prove they came from Myanmar.

A group of aid organisations said on Tuesday the total number of refugees who had fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25 had been revised up to 480,000, after 35,000 people were found to have been missed out of the previous tally.

Aid agencies say refugees are still arriving though at a slower rate, and they have a contingency plan for a total of 700,000.

That figure is part of an overall plan to help 1.2 million people, including 200,000 Rohingya who were already in camps in Bangladesh and 300,000 people in “host communities”, or people helping refugees who also need aid.

(Additonal reporting by Tommy Wilkes in COX’S BAZAR; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Canada, U.S. work to step up pressure on Myanmar’s military leadership

Canada and the United States are in talks about how they can intensify pressure on Myanmar’s powerful military leadership for its role in ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims, amid reports that 480,000 members of the minority group have fled violence in the Southeast Asian country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday night about ways to step up pressure on Myanmar’s military leadership, but did not mention any specific plans. Speaking to the House of Commons during an emergency debate on the violence facing Rohingya, Ms. Freeland underlined the importance of holding Myanmar’s military to account.

“It is very important that the military in Myanmar understand that the world is aware of the military’s role in this ethnic cleansing and that we will not stand for it,” said Ms. Freeland, who took time away from NAFTA negotiations in Ottawa to address the House of Commons Tuesday night.

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi does not have the authority to direct security matters, as the military retained significant power under Myanmar’s 2008 constitution. However, the Nobel laureate and honorary Canadian citizen has still faced sharp international criticism for her inaction on the recent Rohingya crisis.

In a Sept. 18 letter to Ms. Suu Kyi, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the responsibility for resolving the crisis falls “squarely upon” Ms. Suu Kyi and military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, who requested the emergency debate, asked Ms. Freeland if she had spoken with General Hlaing directly. Ms. Freeland said Canada has put pressure “directly to the military leadership,” but did not indicate if she spoke with Gen. Hlaing.

Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday that Myanmar is committing crimes against humanity in its massacre of villagers and mass arson in Rakhine state, where 480,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh over the past month. A Myanmar government spokesman said there was no evidence to support that claim.

Ms. Freeland said Canada has three goals for the continuing Rohingya crisis: to end the ethnic cleansing; to ensure that humanitarian assistance can reach the minority group; and to work with international allies to allow Rohingya to return to Rakhine and live free of persecution.

The current outbreak of violence began at the end of August, after Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base in Rakhine. Myanmar’s military responded by killing hundreds of people, triggering a massive exodus of Rohingya villagers. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described the situation as ethnic cleansing.

Heading into the United Nations General Assembly last week, the Liberal government said it was planning to focus on the plight of Rohingya, among other current international issues. While Mr. Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues raised the situation of Rohingya during bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN, his speech made no mention of the matter.

“The Prime Minister should have raised this issue during his speech to the UN General Assembly last week,” Mr. Genuis said.

Ms. Suu Kyi did not attend the UN General Assembly, staying in Myanmar to deliver her first national address since the massive Rohingya exodus. In her speech, she condemned rights abuses in Rakhine and said violators would be punished. While Western diplomats and aid officials welcomed the tone of her speech, some doubted if she had done enough to deflect international criticism.

NDP MP David Christopherson, who has met Ms. Suu Kyi, told the House of Commons that she is the best hope for Myanmar, while acknowledging her lack of power over the military.

“We’re going to make sure that the world knows that we’re holding the military to account because we understand the difficulty that [Ms. Suu Kyi] has and my heart breaks for that situation.”

Myanmar army Facebook posts covering key period of offensive “hidden”

YANGON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Facebook posts from Myanmar’s army detailing the opening phase of its crackdown last month on Rohingya Muslim insurgents – an operation now being probed by the United Nations – are no longer visible on its official page, Reuters found.

Posts for the period between Aug. 1 and Aug. 29 appear to have been “hidden” on the Facebook page of the office of the commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, which has covered the military’s actions, including those in western Myanmar, in detailed dispatches.

The posts, which can still be found using specific date or keyword searches, included detailed accounts of the operation launched by the army following attacks on security forces on Aug. 25.

It is unclear why, or when exactly, the posts disappeared. They were not visible on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday from several locations across Asia.

“We don’t hide anything, it might be some kind of error,” said Ministry of Defence spokesman General Aung Ye Win.

Zaw Htay, the spokesman for national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, referred questions to Aung Ye Win.

A spokesman for the military-run home affairs ministry, Police Colonel Myo Thu Soe, said he “had no idea” about the issue.

A Facebook spokesperson said it was at the discretion of page administrators to hide posts if they wished.

Around 480,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the military counter-offensive began.

The United Nations has described the campaign as ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has rejected that accusation, saying it is waging a legitimate fight against terrorists.

A U.N.-mandated fact-finding mission is looking into “alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces and abuses in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State”.

The probe includes the violence that followed the Aug. 25 attacks. It was established after a similar, smaller military operation late last year.


The official military Facebook page shows a gap of nearly a month between a post on July 31 and the next one on Aug. 30.

Like other news organisations, Reuters had used the detailed, timely postings in much of its early coverage of the August crisis.

The August posts can still be seen if searched for with a specific date or a keyword, suggesting they have not been deleted but removed from the page’s timeline using Facebook’s “hide” function.

“Keep in mind that if a post you’ve hidden was shared, it may still be visible to the audience it was shared with in other places on Facebook,” says Facebook about the function on its website. The feature can be undone by the account holder to restore the posts.

The hidden August posts include very detailed accounts of clashes with militants, often accompanied by pictures. The military first posted on the attacks on Aug. 25, attaching a map showing police posts and military base that had been attacked.

The timeline updates resume on the military page after Aug. 31, with more than 360 posts in September, mostly about operations in Rakhine.

Myawady, a media group which covers the military and publishes daily newspapers, has kept the August issues available online. (Reporting by Shoon Naing; Additional reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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Asean chairman’s statement a worst form of collectivism, says OIC special envoy to Myanmar

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has taken a principled position in its stand to dissociate itself with Asean chairman’s statement on the humanitarian situation in the Rakhine state.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s special envoy to Myanmar, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said it was unusual for Asean chairman to issue such statement that was not based on consensus.

“The statement which was issued, absolved Myanmar from any responsibility which is not right at all.

“There are crystal-clear evidence of attack against the Rohingya and this had also affected other civilian population.

“The statement not only brushed through the atrocities happening there, but also taking position of Myanmar who is a new member of the Asean. This is a worst form of collectivism,” said Syed Hamid when contacted by the New Straits Times.

He lauded Malaysia for taking a strong stance under such difficult position.

The Philippines is the chair of Asean for 2017.

Syed Hamid also called on other Asean countries with Muslim minorities to speak up to ensure actions to be taken against all form of atrocities.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the statement by Asean chairman not only failed to mention the Rohingya, but also failed to acknowledge the non-recognition of their ethnic identity.

“It also made no mention of the additional 400,000 refugees that had fled to Bangladesh.”

He said when United Nation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Asean Foreign Ministers in New York on Sept 23 for the annual UN-Asean Ministerial Meeting, he called for three immediate actions, which were suspension of military and security operations, unfettered access for humanitarian agencies to affected communities and for those who fled should be able to exercise their right of safe return.

“Therefore, it is regrettable that the Asean chairman’s statement only touched on one of the three issues, despite being issued the same day after Asean Foreign Ministers met with Gutterres,” he said.

Reezal said the statement was an inadequate reflection of the views of all 10 Asean members and that Malaysia’s position on the disassociation was thoroughly and comprehensively considered.

“The statement should be read not on what it had explicitly stated, but instead on what it had deliberately omitted.

“In other words, by issuing this statement, Asean is only highlighting its silence on the plight of the Rohingya,” he said, adding that Malaysia will continue to advocate the issue to international community and are committed on the four main objectives which are ending the violence; stopping the destruction to lives and properties, allowing immediate unimpeded humanitarian access, and resolving the Rohingya refugee issue.

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) Malaysian Chairman, Dr Chandra Muzaffar doubts that there will be any diplomatic implications following the statement.

“Instead, I hope that this will persuade Asean countries as a whole in approaching crisis like this. We should be committed in addressing the fundamental question of justice and dignity especially when it comes to issues concerning the Rohingyas.

He said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s strong statement was possibly because Asean did not really pinpoint the underlying course of the crisis in Rakhine.

“This reflects the underlying problem within Asean, which seeks to operate under consensus but in this situation we can obviously see that Malaysia disagreed and if Asean stayed true to consensus they would not release a lukewarm statement in the first place ” he said in a phone interview with the New Straits Times.

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Erdogan slams Myanmar for Buddhist-led ‘genocide’ against Muslims

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lambasted Myanmar for launching a Buddhist-led terror campaign against the Rohingya Muslims in the west of the country, while slamming the international community for failing to act against the ongoing “genocide” in the region.

“At the moment, there is a clear Buddhist terror in Myanmar … There is a very clear genocide over there,” said Erdogan on Monday during a speech in Istanbul.

The Turkish president also said there had been constant efforts for covering up the crimes committed by Buddhist mobs against the Rohingya minority Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

“Buddhists always get represented as envoys of goodwill,” he said, adding, “I don’t know how you can gloss over this with yoga, schmoga. This is a fact here. And all humanity needs to know this,” he said.

Erdogan further criticized the international community for failing to pile up pressure on Myanmar over the crackdown, which has seen more than 430,000 Rohingya Muslims flee their homes to neighboring Bangladesh over the past month, in what United Nations officials have designated as a clear form of ethnic cleansing.

Military forces and Buddhist mobs have attacked dozens of villages and towns in the north of Rakhine under the pretext of hunting down suspected militants who had launched attacks on border and police posts in the region.

The government of Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied that security forces had compelled the Rohingya to flee by killing people and torching their homes, claiming the Rohingya have themselves set the villages on fire.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has yet to explain why members of the Rohingya community, estimated more than a million before the recent surge of violence and exodus, should set their own homes on fire.

Amnesty International has criticized Suu Kyi for the deadly military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

The rights group said last week that “Rohingya homes and villages continue to burn, before, during and after their inhabitants take flight in terror.”

“Not satisfied with simply forcing Rohingya from their homes, authorities seem intent on ensuring they have no homes to return to,” said Tirana Hasan, Amnesty’s director of crisis response, in a statement late Friday.

The absence of international monitors has allowed Myanmar’s army to easily deny atrocities.

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U.N. medics see evidence of rape in Myanmar army ‘cleansing’ campaign

COX‘S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Doctors treating some of the 429,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in recent weeks have seen dozens of women with injuries consistent with violent sexual attacks, U.N. clinicians and other health workers said.

The medics’ accounts, backed in some cases by medical notes reviewed by Reuters, lend weight to repeated allegations, ranging from molestation to gang rape, levelled by women from the stateless minority group against Myanmar’s armed forces.

Myanmar officials have mostly dismissed such allegations as militant propaganda designed to defame its military, which they say is engaged in legitimate counterinsurgency operations and under orders to protect civilians.

Zaw Htay, spokesman for Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said the authorities would investigate any allegations brought to them. “Those rape victim women should come to us,” he said. “We will give full security to them. We will investigate and we will take action.”

Suu Kyi herself has not commented on the numerous allegations of sexual assault committed by the military against Rohingya women made public since late last year.

Violence erupted in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state following attacks on security forces by Rohingya militants last October. Further attacks on Aug. 25 provoked a renewed military offensive the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing”.

Reuters spoke with eight health and protection workers in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district who between them said they had treated more than 25 individual rape cases since late August.

The medics say they do not attempt to establish definitively what happened to their patients, but have seen an unmistakeable pattern in the stories and physical symptoms of dozens of women, who invariably say Myanmar soldiers were the perpetrators.

It is rare for U.N. doctors and aid agencies to speak about rape allegedly committed by a state’s armed forces, given the sensitivity of the matter.


Doctors at a clinic run by the U.N’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) at the Leda makeshift refugee say they treated hundreds of women with injuries they said were from violent sexual assaults during the army operation in October and November.

There have been fewer rapes reported among the influx of refugees since August, said Dr. Niranta Kumar, the clinic’s health coordinator, but those they have seen have injuries suggesting “more aggressive” attacks on women.

Several health workers suggested that, whereas in October many women had initially remained in their villages believing the army sweeps were only targeting Rohingya men, this time most had fled at the first sign of military activity.

Doctors at the Leda clinic showed a Reuters reporter three case files, without divulging the identity of the patients. One said a 20-year-old woman was treated on Sept. 10, seven days after she said she was raped by a soldier in Myanmar.

Handwritten notes say she said soldiers had “pulled her hair” and a “gun used to beat her” before raping her.

Examinations often find injuries suggesting forced penetration, beating and even what looked like intentional cutting of the genitals, doctors said.

“We found skin marks, it showed a very forceful attack, an inhuman attack,” said IOM medical officer Dr Tasnuba Nourin.

She had seen incidents of vaginal tearing, bite marks and signs that seemed to show a firearm was used to penetrate women, she said.

Among the new influx of Rohingya she had treated at least five women who appeared to have been recently raped, she said, adding that in each case the physical injuries observed were consistent with the patient’s account of what had happened.


At Bangladesh government clinics supported by U.N. agencies in the Ukhia area, doctors reported treating 19 women who had been raped, said Dr. Misbah Uddin Ahmed, head of the main health complex there, citing reports from female clinicians.

“The evidence included bite marks, tearing of the vagina, these sorts of things,” he said.

In one day alone, Sept. 14, six women showed up at one of the clinics, all saying they were sexually assaulted. “They all said Myanmar army had done this.”

An IOM doctor who asked not to be identified, working at one of those clinics near the Kutapalong refugee camp, said a woman who crossed from Myanmar in late August said she was raped by at least seven soldiers.

“She was extremely weak and traumatized and said she struggled to make it to the clinic,” the doctor said. “She had a laceration on the vagina.”

The doctor treated 15 of the 19 cases of women who appeared to have been raped, and another eight women who had been physically assaulted. Some were given emergency contraceptives, and all were given treatment to reduce the risk of contracting HIV and jabs against hepatitis. Symptoms included bite marks over the arms and back, tearing and laceration on the vagina and vaginal bleeding, the doctor said.

Internal reports compiled by aid agencies in Cox’s Bazar recorded that 49 “SGBV survivors” were identified in just four days between Aug. 28-31. SGBV, or sexual and gender-based violence is used to refer to only cases of rape, according to U.N. doctors. Data for reported rape cases was not available for other dates.

A situation report from aid agencies says more than 350 people had been referred for “life-saving care” relating to gender-based violence – a broad term that includes rape, attempted rape and molestation, as well as emotional abuse and denial of resources based on gender – since Aug. 25. It did not refer to the perpetrators.

Kate White, emergency medical coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Cox’s Bazar said the charity had treated at least 23 cases of sexual and gender-based violence including gang-rape and sexual assault since Aug. 25.

“This is a fraction of the cases that are likely to be out there,” she said.


Reuters first reported allegations of mass rape of Rohingya women within days of militant attacks in northern Rakhine in October.

The same reports were also heard by U.N. investigators who visited Bangladesh in January.

A report of the U.N. Secretary General in April said the sexual assaults were “apparently employed systematically to humiliate and terrorise their community”.

Before her rise to power last year Suu Kyi had spoken of rape being used as a tool of division in the country’s myriad ethnic conflicts.

“It is used as a weapon by armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities and to divide our country, this is how I see it,” she said in 2011 in a video message to a conference on sexual violence in conflict.

Her spokesman Zaw Htay said there was “nothing to say” when asked if her view had changed since then. “Everything should be according to the rule of law,” he said. “The military leaders also have said they will take action.”

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Rohingya crisis: Myanmar proposes meeting Bangladesh

Myanmar used similar tactic in the past only to alleviate global pressure, a source says

Myanmar, who’s brutal military campaign in Rakhine state forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya flee to Bangladesh, has finally proposed a meeting with Dhaka to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis that has drawn global attention and condemnation.

Thaung Tun, Myanmar’s national security adviser, made the proposal on Thursday during a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali in New York.

Source said Myanmar had used similar move in the past in the face of mounting global pressure over its persecution of the Muslim minority.

Earlier, Naypyitaw took three months’ time for a bilateral meeting when violence erupted in Rakhine state on October last year. Thousands of Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after the army launched a security crackdown targeting the minority.

In January this year, Myanmar’s special envoy Kyaw Tin held talks with Bangladesh’s prime minister, foreign minister and foreign affairs secretary over Rohingya issue.

Dhaka had asked Naypyitaw to take back the Rohingya as the sudden influx placed extreme stress on the former.

The ongoing crackdown on Rohingya started after insurgents wielding guns, sticks and homemade bombs attacked 30 police posts and an army base in Rakhine and killed 12 security personnel on August 24 and 25.

A sweeping military response from Myanmar forced more than 422,000 Rohingya Muslims to escape to Bangladesh since then.

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Bangladesh PM at UNGA: Create safe zones inside Myanmar for the Rohingya

Hasina on Thursday proposed the creation of UN-supervised ‘safe zones’ inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing a military crackdown to seek refuge in her country

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed the creation of a safe zone for the Rohingya people inside Myanmar, under United Nations supervision, while speaking at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

She also urged the UN Secretary General to send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar.

Taking the podium right after the speech of Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Prime Minister placed a 5-point proposal to end the Rohingya crisis in front of the General Assembly.

Sheikh Hasina called on “Myanmar to unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever”.

In her final two points Sheikh Hasina urged for the sustainable return of all Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh and the full implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission report.

The Prime Minister began her speech at 5.29am Bangladesh time. She opened her speech in Bangla, in lieu with the Bangla speech given by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.

She said: “I have come here just after seeing the hungry, distressed and hopeless Rohingyas from Myanmar who took shelter in Cox’s Bazar. This forcibly displaced people of Myanmar are fleeing an ‘ethnic cleansing’ in their own country where they have been living for centuries.”

“We are currently sheltering over 800,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar. The ongoing atrocities and human rights violations in the Rakhine State of Myanmar has once again aggravated the situation at the Bangladesh-Myanmar Border,” the Bangladesh Prime Minister added.

In her speech the Prime Minister remember the martyrs on the Language Movement in 1952 and the Liberation War in 1971.

“The 1971 genocide included targeted elimination of individuals on the ground of religion, race and political belief. The intellectuals were killed brutally.”

“To pay homage to the victims of the genocide, our parliament has recently declared 25th March ‘Genocide Day’,” Hasina said.

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Seven countries seek UN council meeting on Myanmar

France, Britain, the United States and four other countries have asked the UN Security Council to meet next week to discuss the ongoing violence in Myanmar, according to a request seen by AFP on Friday.

The seven countries including Egypt, Kazakhstan, Senegal and Sweden want UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to brief the council on Myanmar’s military campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

The Ethiopian presidency of the council said it was holding consultations to set a time for the meeting.

The United Nations says more than 420,000 Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of the army campaign in Rakhine that includes rape and the burning of villages.

The military operation was sparked by attacks carried out by Rohingya militants on police posts on August 25.

The Security Council has called for an end to the violence but rights organizations have said the exodus has continued, fueling international outrage.

The United Nations has described the military operation as “ethnic cleansing” and French President Emmanuel Macron went further, describing it as “genocide.”

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UN: President’s MUhammadu Buhari’s Speech Forces UN To Act On Ethnic Cleansing Of Rohingya Muslims In Myanmar

MYNATION NEWS – UN update following President Muhammadu Buhari’s call in his speech at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly session, NigeriaUNGA17, the United Nations, on Friday, estimated 200 million dollars to help Rohingya Muslims refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in “massive numbers” to escape a bloody military campaign.

Do recall that President Buhari had, during the speech, urged fellow leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Myanmar’s “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya people.

Comparing the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine province to the massacres in Bosnia in 1995 and Rwanda in 1994, Buhari who is the leader of Africa’s most populous nation declared: “The international community cannot remain silent.”

Moreover, according to UN, the money will be needed over the next six months.

Bangladesh and humanitarian organisations are struggling to help 422,000 Rohingya who have arrived since Aug. 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants triggered a Myanmar counter-insurgency offensive that the UN has branded ethnic cleansing.

Bangladesh was already home to some 400,000 Rohingya who fled earlier bouts of violence and persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Robert D. Watkins, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh told newsmen in his office in Dhaka, that the UN has launched an appeal for 78 million dollars on Sept. 9, but the refugees have kept coming.

“Right now, we’re looking at $200 million.

“It has not been confirmed, but it is a ballpark figure based on the estimates on the information we have.

“We base these appeals on immediate needs, and right now we know they’re going to be here for six months,” he said.

Myanmar has rejected accusations of ethnic cleansing, saying its security forces are fighting insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who claimed responsibility for attacks on about 30 police posts and army camp on Aug. 25.

The insurgents were also behind similar but smaller attacks in October 2016 that also led to a brutal Myanmar army response triggering the flight of 87,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh.

Watkins said the exodus since Aug. 25 was much bigger than the flows sparked by ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

“It’s different from that here because the numbers are so much bigger, massive numbers in such a short period of time,’’ he said.

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