International desk – A rights watchdog has urged for an arms embargo on Burmese military accused of ethnic cleansing in its own land.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch made the appeal to the UN Security Council and other countries concerned as more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the latest wave of violence in Myanmar and entered neighbouring Bangladesh.
Civilians crossing into Bangladesh say the army and the Buddhist mob have been killing Muslims and burning down their homes. The army was also accused of rape, torture and other form of crimes against humanity.
The exodus of Rohingya Muslims began on August 25 when Burmese army launched crackdown against so-called Rohingya insurgents blaming them for attacks on military bases and police posts. The army say they killed more than 400 ‘insurgents’ after 12 security personnel were killed in the militants’ attack.
The group called the world leaders gathering in New York for the opening of UN General Assembly to make crisis in Burma a priority and condemn the ongoing atrocities.
“Burmese security forces are committing ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya and disregarding the condemnation of world leaders,” Asia advocacy director John Sifton of the group said in a statement.
Time has come to impose tougher measures that Burma’s generals cannot ignore, he said urging the Security Council to place an urgent ban on travel and asset freeze on those responsible for the abuses/
An arm embargo against Burma is must, he said.
The statement urged the Security Council to demand that Burma allows aid agencies to access people in need and permit entry to a UN fact-finding mission mandated to investigate the violations in the country.
UN High Commissioner for Refugee chief described the violations saying a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
According to the UN estimation, around 412,000 Rohingya have already entered Bangladesh on an average of 10,000 to 20,000 Rohingya refugees per day.
Myanmar denies the accusation saying its army is responding to deadly militant attacks.
On Saturday UN secretary general Antonio Gueterres warned that the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had a last chance to halt the army offensive before the situation becomes “absolutely horrible”.