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Turkey continues to distribute aid to Rohingya Muslims

15 September 2017
Turkey continues to distribute aid to Rohingya Muslims

Recently the U.N. Human Rights Chief has said that the violence and injustice faced by the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar, where U.N. rights investigators have been barred from entering, "seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

The Security Council also urged the government to implement the recommendations of a commission led by former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan calling for economic development and social justice to counter deadly violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state.

The military insists it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and denies it is targeting civilians.

The Trump administration has previously noted its concern about the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state but has so far avoided levying any direct criticism against the country's civilian government or its de facto leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The UN said Thursday it had been caught by surprise by the crisis, with other worldwide agencies and the Bangladesh government also overwhelmed.

In a scathing new report released Thursday, the humanitarian group said Myanmar's security forces have engaged in an "orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings" of Rohingya villages across northern Rakhine State for nearly three weeks.

By comparison, communal violence in 2012 in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, led to the killing of almost 200 people and the displacement of about 140,000, a lot of them Rohingya.

The government says 176 out of 471, or 37.4% of all Rohingya villages are now empty of people, and an additional 34 villages were "partially abandoned". He also spoke about rights concerns in Burundi, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and the United States, where he expressed concerns about the Trump administration's plan to dismantle protection for younger immigrants, many of whom have lived most of the lives in the U.S.

According to NPR, hardship awaits them in Bangladesh, as thousands are cramped into makeshift quarters built of bamboo and plastic sheeting, filled with humans and human misery.

British UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said it was the first time in nine years the council had agreed on a statement on Myanmar.

Rights groups had urged the council to meet in open session and send a clear message to Myanmar that the world is watching.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said humanitarian assistance must be allowed to get to those who need it on a greatly expanded basis.

Juncker however declined to say whether Suu Kyi should be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize, an award the European Union itself won in 2012.

Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to condemn the military's actions, instead blaming "fake news" and a wholesale misinformation campaign that was aiding "terrorists".

On the sidelines of the General Assembly, Turkey is planning a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Myanmar and Britain a ministerial-level meeting.

More than 370,000 Rohingya - many of them women and children - have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence since August 25, according to the United Nations, an average of nearly 20,000 a day.

Suu Kyi, who is also Burma's foreign minister, has been taking telephone calls from foreign leaders concerning the Arakan Crisis, the government spokesman said, without elaborating on whom she had spoken with.

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.