UN chief Antonio Guterres urges Myanmar to halt military campaign against Rohingyas

"I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military activities and violence and uphold the rule of law," he said in a press conference.

Published: 13th September 2017 10:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2017 10:59 PM   |  A+A-

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (File photo | AP)

By AFP

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres acknowledged on Wednesday that Rohingya Muslims were being ethnically cleansed in Myanmar as he called for a halt to a military campaign in Rakhine state.

Speaking ahead of a Security Council meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis there, Guterres described reports of security forces attacking civilians in Rakhine as "disturbing" and "completely unacceptable."

"I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military activities and violence and uphold the rule of law," the secretary general said in a press conference.

Asked if he agreed the Rohingya population was being ethnically cleansed, he replied: "When one-third of the Rohingya population has got to flee the country, can you find a better word to describe it?"

The crackdown by Myanmar's army, which followed attacks by Rohingya militants late last month, has prompted around 380,000 to flee across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Guterres called for authorities "to assure the delivery of vital humanitarian aid" with thousands of Rohingya still crossing the border every day.

The 1.1-million strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country.

But Guterres said that the Myanmar government should either grant the Rohingya nationality or legal status that would allow them to live a normal life.

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been widely condemned for a lack of moral leadership and compassion in the face of the crisis, denting the Nobel peace laureate's reputation.

However Suu Kyi, Myanmar's first civilian leader in decades, has no control over the powerful military, which ran the country for 50 years before elections in 2015.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.