Rohingya persecution ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’: UN
Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh): The UN human rights chief says violence and injustice faced by the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar, where UN rights investigators have been barred from entry, “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Speaking at the start of a UN Human Rights Council session, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein denounced how “another brutal security operation is underway in Rakhine State—this time, apparently, on a far greater scale”.
Zeid, a Jordanian prince, noted that the UN refugee agency has reported that 270,000 people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the last three weeks, and pointed to satellite imagery and reports of “security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages” and extrajudicial killings.
He said Monday that he was “further appalled” by reports of Myanmar authorities planting land mines along the border.
“The Myanmar government should stop pretending that the Rohingya are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages,” he added, calling it a “complete denial of reality” that hurts the standing of a country that recently enjoyed “immense goodwill”.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government said it has offered a plot of land for a new camp to shelter Rohingya refugees.
The violence has driven nearly 300,000 Rohingya to flee Buddhist-majority Myanmar, with many of them packed into existing camps or huddled in makeshift settlements that have mushroomed along roadsides and in open fields across Cox’s Bazar district on the border.
Bangladesh’s junior foreign minister Mohammed Shahriar Alam said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had allocated 2,000 acres near the existing camp of Kutupalong “to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya newcomers”, according to a message posted Monday on his Facebook account.
He also said the government would be registering the new arrivals on Monday. Hasina is scheduled to visit Rohingya refugees on Tuesday.
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