UN chief warns Myanmar violence could destabilise region
UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to Myanmar authorities on Tuesday to end violence in the country’s Rakhine state, which he warned was “creating a situation that can destabilise the region.”
Guterres told reporters he had written to the UN Security Council to express his concern and propose steps to end the violence. When asked about ethnic cleansing, Guterres said: “We are facing a risk, I hope we don’t get there.”
The latest violence in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state began on Aug. 25. The ensuing clashes and a Myanmar military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of villagers to Bangladesh.
A total of 87,000 mostly Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since violence erupted in neighbouring Myanmar on August 25, the United Nations said on Monday, amid growing international criticism of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Thousands of the Muslim minority have fled mainly Buddhist Myanmar and poured over the border since the latest round of fighting broke out.
Their arrival has piled yet more pressure on already overcrowded camps in Bangladesh and raised fears of a humanitarian crisis as aid agencies struggle to cope with the influx of mainly women and children.
Around 20,000 more were massed on the border waiting to enter, the UN said in a report.