UN Council Calls for 'Immediate Steps' to End Myanmar Violence

UN Council Calls for 'Immediate Steps' to End Myanmar Violence

UN Council Calls for 'Immediate Steps' to End Myanmar Violence

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has expressed solidarity with Bangladesh over the Rohingya crisis and said India was pressuring Myanmar to take back refugees who have fled the Buddhist-majority nation, a top aide to the Bangladeshi Prime Minister said today.

After that, they have been on their own, according to a BBC report.

Critics have called for her to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize for failing to do more to halt the strife.

Last week, Myanmar said it was negotiating with Russian Federation and China to block any statements from the council, but both countries supported Wednesday's condemnation of the violence.

An estimated 380,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled Myanmar and reached Bangladesh after a crackdown by Myanmarese security forces in response to an attack on a military outpost by Rohingya militants on August 25.

The violence is still raging, and at least 110 people are so far confirmed dead while at least 18,500 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, according to the International Organization for Migration. "The counter-attacks of Myanmar security forces against extremist terrorists and the government's undertakings to provide assistance to the people are strongly welcomed", he said.

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"It's a first step, but the council needs to escalate this to the level that a crisis that bears the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing deserves", Human Rights Watch's UN Director Louis Charbonneau said after the council statement.

His telephone call to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi comes after online petitions signed by 10,000 Canadians, collected in just five days, urged Trudeau to act and to revoke Suu Kyi's honorary Canadian citizenship. On Thursday, Swaraj held a telephonic conversation with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and assured her of India's full support to Bangladesh's stance over the Rohingya issue, Hasina's Deputy Press Secretary Nazrul Islam was quoted as saying by the bdnews24.com.

Because of a provision in the country's constitution, Suu Kyi does not have control over the military.

The violence has driven a humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border and put intense global pressure on Suu Kyi to condemn the army campaign, which the United Nations says amounts to "ethnic cleansing".

The Rohingya people are a minority ethnic group in Myanmar, largely shunned by much of the country's mostly Buddhist population. "The government of Myanmar needs to be told that global support and finance is conditional on a major change in policy towards the Rohingya".

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