Sat11252017

LAST_UPDATESat, 25 Nov 2017 3pm

UN Security Council Condemns Rohingya Violence

Pic: AgensiPic: Agensi

The U.N. Security Council is condemning the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state that has led more than 370,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. It is also calling for immediate steps to end the violence.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the press statement Wednesday following closed-door consultations was the first statement the U.N.'s most powerful body has made in nine years on the situation in Myanmar.

The council expressed concern at reports of excessive violence during security operations by Myanmar.

It also called for a de-escalation of the situation, reestablishment of law and order, protection of civilians and a resolution of the refugee problem.

The Security Council welcomed Bangladesh's efforts to help the refugees as well as support from the U.N. and other international efforts.

Rycroft said several members called for an open meeting on what he called "the catastrophe that is befalling Rakhine state and the Rohingya there."

They also called for a presidential statement from the Security Council. That would become part of its official record, unlike press statements.

 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says ethnic cleansing is taking place in Myanmar against the Rohingya Muslim minority and he is urging government authorities to suspend military action and end the violence.

The U.N. chief told reporters Wednesday that Myanmar's government must also uphold the rule of law and recognize the right of Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh to return to their homes.

Guterres was asked whether he agreed with U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein that what's happening in Rakhine State is ethnic cleansing.

He answered with a question: "When one-third of the Rohingya population had to flee the country, can you find a better word to describe it?"

The secretary-general says there were 125,000 refugees in Bangladesh last week when he urged an end to the violence and called on Myannmar's authorities to grant the Rohingyas nationality or legal status so they could work, and get an education and health care.

He says now the number has since tripled "to nearly 380,000."

- AP