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UN warns of 'ethnic cleansing' of Myanmar's Muslims

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh): The situation in Myanmar is a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", the United Nations said today, as the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar for Bangladesh topped 300,000.

The Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority, have faced decades of persecution in Myanmar where they are regarded as illegal immigrants.

But since the latest upsurge in violence on August 25, hundreds of thousands have flooded across the border into Bangladesh bringing stories of entire villages burned to the ground by Buddhist mobs and Myanmar troops.

Today the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein accused Myanmar of waging a "systematic attack" on the Rohingya and warned that "ethnic cleansing" seemed to be under way.

"Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing," he told the UN Human Rights Council.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, came in for strong international criticism over the military crackdown on the Rohingya, which began when militants ambushed security forces on August 25.

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has said the latest violence may have left more than 1,000 dead, most of them Rohingya.

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