António Guterres fears that violence in northern Rakhine could spread to the state’s central region. The UN Security Council met yesterday to discuss the matter. The US calls on Myanmar to punish soldiers responsible for violence, but stopped short of re-imposing sanctions. China and Russia back Aung San Suu Kyi's government.
New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Rohingya refugee crisis is “human rights nightmare”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres (pictured), as pressure on Myanmar’s authorities mounted at the United Nations over the Rohingya refugee crisis on the Bangladesh border.
Mr Guterres yesterday told the UN Security Council during its first public meeting on Myanmar in eight years that that the violence against Rohingya Muslims in the northern part of Rakhine could spread to central part of the state, where 250,000 more people were at risk of displacement.
Meanwhile, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, demanded that Myanmar’s authorities punish those in the military who have killed and abused Rohingya. She also called for a halt to the shipment of foreign weapons to Myanmar’s security forces.
“We cannot be afraid to call the actions of the Burmese authorities what they appear to be: a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority,” she explained.
This is the first time the United States called for action against the military leaders behind the repression, but it stopped short of threatening to reimpose sanctions, which were suspended under the Obama administration.
The Security Council took no immediate action, whilst China and Russia expressed support for the Myanmar government under democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi.