Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingya continues

Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingya continues: UN

Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingya continues: UN

Some 7,00,000 people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since August, BBC reported.

Myanmar's "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims is continuing, a senior United Nations human rights official said on Tuesday, more than six months after insurgent attacks sparked a security response that has driven almost 700,000 people into Bangladesh.

"It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists, " Gilmour said after visiting refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Gilmour said the ongoing violence makes it impossible to send Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh back to Myanmar.

A Myanmar security personnel keeps watch along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border as Rohingya refugee stand outside their makeshifts shelters near Tombru, in the Bangladeshi district of Bandarban on March 1, 2018 Bangladesh on March 1 asked Myanmar to immediately "pull back" security forces and heavy weapons from the border after the troop build-up near a camp housing thousands of stranded Rohingya stirred tension on the troubled frontier.

Myanmar's military on Wednesday denied "one-sided accusations" made by British lawmakers in a letter to the EU Foreign Affairs Council recently detailing major human rights abuses against minority Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

"Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions", Gilmour said.

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The Tatmadaw army of Burma stands accused of mass killings, rape and arson in Muslim villages as part of "clearing operations" in response to an attack by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on military and police outposts on Aug 25 past year.

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has expressed its concern over the situation.

Rights groups and the United Nations have warned that conditions for their return are not close to being in place.

An estimated 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed by security forces joined by Buddhist mobs in the first month of the crackdown alone, according to Doctors without Borders.

The military's statement maintained that "illegal Bengalis" were responsible for violence in Rakhine State, using a term preferred by the majority of Myanmar to infer Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. "We've asked Myanmar for humanitarian access in order to help people like them and others affected by the recent violence".

Myanmar's civilian government, led by former democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, lacks control over the military but has been castigated by rights groups for failing to speak out in defence of the Rohingya.

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