Medical

Rohingya crisis: UN sees 'ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar

Rohingya crisis: UN sees 'ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar

At least two diplomats who attended the briefings said the minister told them as many as 3,000 people may have been killed in the latest round of violence, which is a much higher estimate than the 1,000 previously reported by the United Nations.

Since militant attacks took place on Aug 25, some 270,000 Rohingya muslims were said to have fled to overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh, while tens of thousands more were believed to be on the move inside Rakhine or stranded in hills without food, water, shelter or medical care.

Almost 150,000 Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in less than two weeks, officials said in September.

"This is another low in what is already a horrific situation in Rakhine state", said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's Crisis Response Director, who is now near the border.

Ali's comments come as the chair of Bangladesh's National Commission for Human Rights said leading figures in Myanmar could face trial for "genocide" at an worldwide tribunal.

These measures, however, do not offer a long-term solution to the crisis, and Dhaka says it is getting little support from its neighbor, which has been accused of trying to engineer ethnic cleansing within its borders.

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". India also refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an global conference recently in Indonesia as it carried "inappropriate" reference to violence in Rakhine state from where Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.

"The worldwide community is saying it is a genocide".

Citing the two refugee camps in Cox's Bazar in south-east Bangladesh - home to almost 34,000 Rohingya refugees before this influx, UNHCR said the population has more than doubled in two weeks, totaling more than 70,000 and called urgent need for more land and shelters.

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Scores of refugees in Bangladesh have given accounts of arson by Burmese security forces.

The militant group blamed for the August attacks, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, declared a unilateral, one-month ceasefire on Sunday, citing the need to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and urging Myanmar's military to lay down its arms.

Arsa called on Myanmar to "reciprocate this humanitarian pause" in fighting.

Such is the situation that some Rohingya Muslims are said to be paying fishermen $250 per person to ferry them to safety on boats that are anything but safe.

The Dalai Lama, a top Buddhist leader, spoke about the crisis for the first time on Friday.

Rohingya Muslims are considered to be among the world's most persecuted people.

The Buddha "would definitely give help to those poor Muslims", the Dalai Lama said. So still I feel that.

Buddhist nationalists, led by firebrand monks, have operated a long Islamophobic campaign calling for them to be pushed out of the country.


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