United Nations chief urges Myanmar government to protect citizens

Trevor Jackson
August 30, 2017

"The secretary general is deeply concerned at the reports of civilians being killed during security operations in Myanmar's Rakhine State", spokesman for the secretary general Stephane Dujarric quoted the United Nations chief as saying.

When Pope Francis visits Myanmar in late November and early December he will be going into a maelstrom of racial conflict, war crimes, gang rape and ethnic purging bordering on genocide.

In a separate statement the UN's refugee agency said barring entry to the fleeing Rohingya posed a "very grave risk" to their lives, reinforcing a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who called on Bangladesh to step up assistance to escaping civilians, in particular the wounded.

Bangladesh's border guards are trying to block the Rohingyas from entering the country and send back those who have made it across the frontier.

Rohingya leaders say 8,000 to 9,000 Rohingya have entered Bangladesh since a fresh wave of violence broke out in Rakhine last Thursday.

The Nobel peace prize laureate has been accused by some western critics of not speaking out for the long-persecuted Muslim minority, and of defending the army's counter-offensive after the October attacks.

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They say the North may limit its reactions to low-level provocations like artillery and short-range missile launches. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the beginning of previous year .

There was no comment from the Myanmar diplomat. Large numbers of refugees are now stranded near the border after Bangladesh blocked their entry.

Bangladesh is waging a bloody crackdown on homegrown Islamist militancy and has vowed "zero tolerance" towards violent extremism, domestic or otherwise, on its soil.

Marsudi said she had asked Myanmar to "avoid civilian casualties amid the violence" and to provide protection to the Rohingya community. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, took full responsibility for the coordinated attacks on multiple police and military outposts last week.

Myanmar's constitution empowers the NDSC to formulate policy on military and security issues, including the right to petition the president to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

HRW said that while the new satellite images did not allow for the cause of the fires to be identified, in some instances they correlated with reports the rights group had already received from people on the ground saying the buildings had been burned deliberately by troops.

In May, the Pontiff received the de facto head of the Myanmar government and Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, at the Vatican, in a meeting that also marked the beginning of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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