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AFP: UN investigators demand 'full, unfettered' access to Myanmar

AFP: UN investigators demand 'full, unfettered' access to Myanmar

19 September 2017 | 11:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. UN human rights investigators on Tuesday said they needed "full and unfettered" access to Myanmar to probe a grave and ongoing crisis, urging the government to rethink its rejection of the probe, AFP reported.
"It is important for us to see with our own eyes the sites of these alleged violations", the head of UN-backed fact-finding mission, Marzuki Darusman, told the Human Rights Council, asking for "full and unfettered access to the country."
"There is a grave humanitarian crisis underway that requires urgent attention," added Darusman, who is leading an investigation that Myanmar has vowed to reject.
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AFP: Myanmar army chief urges unity over Rohingya 'issue'

AFP: Myanmar army chief urges unity over Rohingya 'issue'

17 September 2017 | 07:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Yangon. Myanmar's army chief has urged the country to unite over the "issue" of the Rohingya, a Muslim group he says has no roots in the country, and which his troops are accused of systematically purging, AFP reported.
The military says its "clearance operations" in northern Rakhine state are aimed at taking out Rohingya militants who attacked police posts on August 25.
But the violence has engulfed the border region and triggered an exodus of more than 400,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh, where they have told of soldiers slaughtering civilians and burning down entire villages.
UN leaders have described the campaign as having all the hallmarks of "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya, a stateless group that has endured years of persecution and repression.
The status of the Muslim minority has long been a explosive topic in Myanmar, where many in the Buddhist majority view the group as foreign interlopers from Bangladesh and deny the existence of a Rohingya ethnicity, insisting they be called "Bengalis".
General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar's globe-trotting army chief, trumpeted that view in comments posted on his official Facebook page Saturday.
"They have demanded recognition as Rohingya, which has never been an ethnic group in Myanmar. (The) Bengali issue is a national cause and we need to be united in establishing the truth," the post said.
The defence of his army's operations comes amid strident global condemnation of the violence, which has left Bangladesh with the overwhelming task of providing shelter and food to a rising tide of desperate refugees.
Myanmar's civilian leader, former democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, has also been castigated for failing to voice sympathy for the Rohingya -- a group she has asked her government to refer to only as "Muslims of Rakhine state".
The Nobel laureate is set to address the nation on the crisis for the first time Tuesday, a high stakes speech that many outside the country hope will explain her near silence on the human tragedy that is unfolding.
Yet supporters inside the country, where she still enjoys saint-like status for championing Myanmar's emergence from junta rule, say the leader must tread carefully around a military that ran the country for 50 years and still looms large in the fragile democracy.
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UN: Rohingya numbers fleeing Myanmar pass 400,000

UN: Rohingya numbers fleeing Myanmar pass 400,000

16 September 2017 | 14:38 | FOCUS News Agency
Dhaka. The United Nations said Saturday that more than 400,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh after fleeing unrest in Myanmar since late last month, AFP reported.
"An estimated 409,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25, fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state," Joseph Tripua, a UN refugee agency spokesman, told AFP.
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