International desk – The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned the violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state that forced nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims to cross into neighbouring Bangladesh.
The council on Wednesday issued a statement condemning “the initial attack on security forces and subsequent violence”.
It also urged Myanmar for immediate steps to stop the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order and ensure the protection of civilians.
It went on to express “concern about reports of excessive violence during the security operations. The statement also called for the refugee problem to be resolved.
Speaking to journalists, UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said it was significant that everyone was able to agree on a statement.
It was the first time in nine years that this had happened in relation to Myanmar, he added.
UN Secretary General said the Rohingya in Myanmar has been facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation.
Antonio Guterres said alleged attacks by security forces on Rohingya villagers were completely unacceptable. The army says it is fighting militants and denies targeting civilians.
Some 379,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since violence began last month. Whole villages have burned down.
The Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority Rakhine state, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants.
They have lived in Myanmar, also known as Burma, for generations but are denied citizenship.
But Myanmar officials say the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will miss a key debate next week in the UN General Assembly.
She will, however, address the nation on TV on 19 September, the day the General Assembly meets. Officials said she would “speak for national reconciliation and peace”.
Suu Kyi has been criticised by former supporters in the West for failing to do enough to prevent the violence in Rakhine state.
One of the most shocking things among all the horror here is that fact many Rohingya refugees say they have had no contact with any aid agencies or international aid bodies at all.
Many say they have had details – their names and the villages they are from – taken at the border. After that, they have been on their own, according to a BBC report.