Top UN rights official warns of 'ethnic cleansing' against Myanmar Muslims

Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants Australia to take more Rohingya refugees
Arsa: The Rohingya militants who tipped Rakhine into crisis

13 September, 2017

"We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians", Mr Zeid said.

"I have no words to condemn Myanmar", she told lawmakers Monday night, noting that Bangladesh had always been protesting the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Myanmar using landmines to harm fleeing Rohingya: Meanwhile, Amnesty International and Bangladeshi officials have slammed Myanmar's military for using landmines against the Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence at home, causing numerous refugees to sustain serious injures or lose their body organs.

More than 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, when armed Rohingya militants attacked police posts and a military base in the western state of Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh.

Myanmar police disputed that, saying the houses were burned by terrorists they called Bengalis.

Before the crisis erupted, between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingyas had been living in Bangladesh, only 32,000 of whom enjoy refugee status.

The Bangladeshi prime minister demanded that Myanmar bring the Rohingya back, while the country's parliament on Monday night urged the United Nations and other countries to pressure Myanmar to ensure their safety and citizenship once they returned. Myanmar's government has refused to cooperate with the mission and has said it will not allow members of the group into the country.

The authorities have, however, started to register the new arrivals.

Two pre-existing Rohingya camps were already beyond capacity. His wife, Ermine Erdogan, traveled to Bangladesh with a consignment of humanitarian aid last week, urging the government in Dhaka to keep its borders open for Rohingya refugees.

"Before this latest crisis agencies were already working on the ground, but the influx has overwhelmed the services that were in place". The United Nations evacuated non-critical staff from the area.

It was unclear who set fire to the villages, located in a part of northwest Myanmar far from where the insurgents launched their attacks last month.

The government had invited the Red Cross to assist them, he said.

At least three have been wounded in land mine blasts, and dozens have drowned when boats capsized during sea crossings. The Myanmar military this past week also rebuffed a supposed month-long ceasefire offered by Rohingya militants.

"This is creating a huge challenge for Bangladesh in terms of providing shelter as well as other humanitarian assistance to them", Bangladesh's foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday as Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali held talks with diplomats.

He also spoke about rights concerns in Burundi, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya, and the United States, where he expressed concerns about the Trump administration's plan to dismantle protection for younger immigrants, many of whom have lived most of their lives in the United States.

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

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