At least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including many children, were killed in the first month of violence that erupted in Burma’s troubled Rakhine State in August, Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Thursday.
A top UN official recounted to the Security Council on Tuesday “heartbreaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities” by Burmese soldiers against Rohingya Muslim women, urging the body to visit the region and demand an end to attacks on civilians.
The UN Human Rights Council voted Tuesday to condemn the alleged rights violations perpetrated by Burmese security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, in a vote of 33 in favour and three against. Nine nations abstained.
Burmese security forces may be guilty of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, the United Nations’ top human rights official said on Tuesday, adding that more were fleeing despite an agreement between Burma and Bangladesh to send them home.
Pope Francis ended a diplomatically tricky trip to Asia on Saturday, seeking the forgiveness of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh after his controversial decision to not directly refer to their plight when he visited their homeland, Burma.
Pope Francis called on Thursday for decisive measures to resolve the political reasons that caused mostly Muslim refugees in Burma to flee to Bangladesh and urged countries to help the Dhaka government deal with the crisis.
Burma must guarantee “equal rights” for everyone in troubled Rakhine State as talks on repatriation of more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh gather steam, the new EU ambassador to the country said on Thursday.
The Vatican on Wednesday defended Pope Francis’s decision not to use the word “Rohingya” in public during his visit to Burma, saying his moral authority was unblemished and that his mere presence drew attention to the refugee crisis.
Bangladesh approved a $280 million project on Tuesday to develop an isolated and flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to temporarily house 100,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighbouring Burma.
Burma and Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the repatriation of more than 600,000 refugees from Rakhine State’s Rohingya Muslim community who have fled the state’s north en masse over recent months.
The US labelling of a Burma Army crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as “ethnic cleansing” is unhelpful and could aggravate the situation, Russia’s ambassador to the Southeast Asian nation said on Thursday, criticising “excessive external intervention.”
Members of the US Congress said on Tuesday operations carried out against the Rohingya Muslims in Burma had “all the hallmarks” of ethnic cleansing, while the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi expressed doubts about allegations of rights abuses.
Bangladesh is in negotiations with Burma aimed at a deal to repatriate displaced Rohingya and Dhaka’s foreign minister will address the matter at talks in Burma this week, the Bangladeshi foreign ministry said on Sunday.
A United Nations General Assembly committee on Thursday called on Burma to end military operations that have “led to the systematic violation and abuse of human rights” of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Wednesday for a credible investigation into reports of human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims committed by Burma’s security forces after a meeting with its civilian and military leaders.
Many shops in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur are being used to send money to refugee camps in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in August prompted over 600,000 members of the Muslim minority group to flee Burma.