The U.N. chief warned that Myanmar's humanitarian crisis is a breeding ground for radicalization, criminals and traffickers
A Rohingya Muslim boy, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, holds his brother outside his shelter as it rains in Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when deadly attacks by a Rohingya insurgent group on police posts prompted Myanmar's military to launch "clearance operations" in Rakhine state. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin), photo: AP/Dar Yasin
28 of September 2017 18:04:09
UNITED NATIONS – Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Myanmar's authorities on Thursday to immediately end military operations that have sent over 500,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, calling the crisis "the world's fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare."The U.N. chief warned that the humanitarian crisis is a breeding ground for radicalization, criminals and traffickers. And he said the broader crisis "has generated multiple implications for neighboring states and the larger region, including the risk of inter-communal strife."Guterres told the U.N. Security Council at its first open meeting on Myanmar since 2009 that government authorities must also allow "unfettered access" for humanitarian aid and ensure "the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return" of all those who sought refuge across the border.
The Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and persecution by the majority Buddhist population in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship despite centuries-old roots in the country.The current crisis erupted Aug. 25 when an insurgent Rohingya group attacked police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state, killing a dozen security personnel — an act that Guterres again condemned.The attacks prompted Myanmar's military to launch "clearance operations" against the rebels, setting off a wave of violence that has left hundreds dead, thousands of homes burned and the mass flight of Rohingya to Bangladesh.Guterres previously called the Rohingya crisis "ethnic cleansing." He didn't use those words Thursday but he referred to "a deeply disturbing pattern to the violence and ensuing large movements of an ethnic group from their homes."Myanmar authorities insist security operations ended Sept. 5, but Guterres said that "displacement appeared to have continued, with reports of the burning of Muslim villages, as well as looting and acts of intimidation."
Violence in Myanmar – whether by the military or radical elements – must end; Rohingya must be allowed to return home. pic.twitter.com/JGV04eWUm3— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) 28 de septiembre de 2017
As of Thursday, Haq said, the U.N. and its humanitarian partners have received $36.4 million — just under half of the $77 million that the U.N. called for in early September to address the Rohingya crisis. But he said that "the scale of the emergency has far surpassed initial projections and the needs are being revised" upward.On the key issue of returning Rohingya to their homes, the secretary-general said, "The core of the problem is protracted statelessness and its associated discrimination."Guterres said Myanmar has committed to using a 1993 framework agreed to by the foreign ministers of Myanmar and Bangladesh to facilitate returns, but he told the council this isn't sufficient."Notably, the framework does not refer to resolving the root cause of displacement," he said. "And moreover, it requires documents that the fleeing Rohingya may not be able to provide."
A burned Rohingya village in Myanmar. Nothing left. pic.twitter.com/HHSt0Vvlz4— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) 28 de septiembre de 2017
EDITH M. LEDERER