‘Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya continues’
YANGON – Agence France-Presse
Myanmar is continuing its “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya with a “campaign of terror and forced starvation” in Rakhine state, a U.N. human rights envoy said on March 6, six months after a military crackdown sparked a mass exodus of the Muslim minority.
Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh since the violence erupted in August, bringing with them consistent testimony of murder, rape and arson by soldiers and vigilante mobs.
“The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues. I don’t think we can draw any other conclusion from what I have seen and heard in Cox’s Bazar,” U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew
Gilmour said after speaking to newly-arrived Rohingya in Bangladesh’s crowded refugee camps.
“The nature of the violence has changed from the frenzied blood-letting and mass rape of last year to a lower intensity campaign of terror and forced starvation.”
“Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions.”
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of the crackdown alone.
Hundreds of Rohingya villages were torched, and recent satellite imagery showed at least 55 villages have since been completely bulldozed, removing all traces of buildings, wells and vegetation.