UNSC to meet in emergency meeting on Rohingya crisis

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 12 (APP): The UN Security Council will hold an
urgent meeting on Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, amid an international
outcry against the bloody crackdown on the minority Muslim community.
Britain and Sweden requested Wednesday’s meeting against the
backdrop of a growing humanitarian crisis.
The announcement of the council’s meeting came hours after UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Raad Zeid al-Hussein denounced Myanmar’s brutal operation in Rakhine, warning it amounted to “ethnic cleansing.”
The country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate,
has defended the military’s operation as part of the “legitimate duty to restore stability” in the western state after a number of armed attacks
on police and army posts there on August 25.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship
by the state and have suffered years of persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, have been forced to flee the country in the past fortnight following a brutal crackdown the government describes as a “cleansing operation.”
A petition has already collected hundreds of thousands of signatures
calling for Suu Kyi’s Nobel title to be revoked. Fellow Nobel laureates
have also criticized the Myanmarese leader’s stance on the ongoing
violence, urging her to take action to defend the Rohingya’s rights.
Critics have blamed her for complicity in the atrocities against the
Rohingya, who are looked down on by the majority Buddhists in the country as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
The Council met behind closed doors in late August to discuss the
violence, but there was no formal statement.
The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has said the
latest wave of violence may have left more than 1,000 dead, most of
them Rohingya Muslims.
According to the latest UN figures, over 370,000 Rohingya Muslims
have already fled Myanmar. This has sparked a humanitarian crisis in neighboring Bangladesh, where refugee camps are already overcrowded
and food and other aid are in short supply.
Most refugees have walked for days in harrowing journeys across
rivers and through jungle, arriving sick, exhausted and in desperate
need of shelter, food and water.
Dhaka, which initially tried to block the Rohingya from entering,
said Monday that it would start registering all new arrivals and place
them in a new refugee camp until their status is determined.
Amnesty International and Bangladeshi officials say the Myanmar
military has planted landmines to harm the fleeing Rohingya refugees,
many of whom arrive in Bangladesh with serious injuries.