United Nations needs $950m to assist Rohingyas, locals in Cox's Bazar

09 March, 2018, 09:49 | Author: Bert Pena
  • UN: Myanmar continuing 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya

"It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists", Gilmour added in a statement.

The UN and human rights organisations have repeatedly criticised the atrocities allegedly committed by the Myanmar military in a campaign against the Rohingya that began in northern Rakhine following a coordinated assault by the Rohingya insurgent movement on August 25, 2017, reports Efe news.

Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council, Zeid noted that his office said on Tuesday that it believes ethnic cleansing is still underway in Rakhine state.

The UN expert also questioned how the Myanmar government could say that it was ready for the return of the Rohingya refugees while atrocities committed against them continued, and argued that "safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions".

They recounted incidents where family members were taken away by Myanmar's security forces and later found dead.

After Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 police posts and an army base on August 25, Myanmar soldiers and police swept through villages in what the government says was a legitimate operation to root out "terrorists".

Abductions of Rohingya girls and women by Burmese security forces was a "recurring theme" said the OHCHR, corroborating accounts of sexual violence and killings provided to other United Nations agencies and non-profit organisations including Human Rights Watch.

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Echoing the sentiments of other UN officials, Western governments and humanitarian agencies, Gilmour thanked the poor nation of Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting the huge population of Rohingya refugees.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for two Rohingya refugees who are in camps in India, had argued that the BSF had adopted a policy called "non-engagement" to prevent the influx of more refugees from Myanmar.

A number of refugees reportedly told Gilmour that Rohingya attempting to leave their homes or villages "are taken away and never return".

Living conditions for refugees remain extremely hard despite a growing worldwide response, but the United Nations refugee agency said the threat from elephants had emerged as a new concern.

"UNHCR underscores that everyone has the right to seek asylum, just as they also have the right to return home when they deem the time and circumstances right", it said in a statement released late on Monday.

Zaw Htay said Myanmar had the right to move people from its territory and part of an agreed "buffer zone" with Bangladesh.

"According to procedure security forces have to clear the area for security reasons", he said. "They are now even more reluctant to go back to their homeland".



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