Myanmar crisis textbook example of ethnic cleansing

Accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu First Lady Emine Erdogan visited Rohingya families at Cox's Bazar

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, said that more than 270,000 people had fled to Bangladesh, with more trapped on the border, amid reports of the burning of villages and extrajudicial killings.

Meantime, the Iranian Permanent Mission to the UN has been also ordered to pursue the issue of Rohingya Muslims in talks with the global body officials and his counterparts from Muslims nations, he noted.

Images purportedly showing atrocities against the Rohingya have flooded Bangladeshi social media, triggering an outpouring of sympathy among locals, who have historical ties with the community. Many of them, who had fled to India after the earlier spate of violence, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

Australia has committed up to $5 million to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis and is calling for Myanmar's authorities to show "restraint" and protect civilian life.

People swimming across a river near Laung Don village in northern Rakhine state as they travel towards the border with Bangladesh.

In 2012, deadly clashes with Buddhists in Rakhine caused 140,000 Rohingya to flee their homes.

Some even welcome the flight of the Rohingyas to Bangladesh, branding them as Bengali terrorists.

Almost 300,000 of these stateless minorities have fled across the border into Bangladesh, which was already housing half a million refugees from past violence in Myanmar.

Two top officials of foreign and home ministries told Prothom Alo that the government has urged the worldwide community in the letters to create a "safe zone" inside Myanmar's Rakhine state so that the Rohingya people are not repressed.

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"The Myanmar Army is one of only a handful of state forces worldwide, along with North Korea and Syria, to still openly use antipersonnel landmines". An worldwide treaty in 1997 outlawed their use.

The group said its initial findings of the situation in the Maungdaw area of Rakhine were indicative of an ethnic cleansing campaign.

On August 18, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notice to the Centre over its plan to deport Rohingya immigrants, who are residing in various parts of India. "Women are being raped and tortured, children are being killed, and houses are being set on fire" in Myanmar's Rakhine state". Myat Min Oo, a military spokesman, said he could not comment without talking to his superiors.

The humanitarian crisis next door has left Bangladesh scrambling to deal with people that it does not welcome either.

Both countries maintain "very close" relations with Myanmar, and have not condemned the violence against Rohingya, said one diplomat.

In October previous year, the global news cycle was fuelled by violence in the same northern Rakhine region when several hundred lightly armed Muslims attacked police posts in Maungdaw township on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Rakhine state, killing nine policemen and looting some 50 guns and ammunition.

A house burns in the village of Gawduthar, in the Burmese state of Rakhine, on September 7.

The first is for Myanmar to create a "safe zone" inside its Rakhine state for the Rohingya people who are facing brutal persecution, and the second is to involve the worldwide community in making Myanmar take back the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.

Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and persecution in Myanmar and are denied citizenship despite centuries-olds roots in the Rakhine region.

He had also urged a solution based on respect for peace, communal harmony, justice, dignity and democratic values, it added.



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