Bangladesh’s U.N. ambassador says violence has not stopped in Myanamar’s northern Rakhine state despite its government claims, and with the arrival of over 500,000 Rohingya Muslims since Aug. 25 his nation now hosts over 900,000 members of “this most persecuted minority in the world.”
Masud Bin Momen told an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that 20,000 Rohingya arrived Wednesday night. He called this situation untenable and reiterated an appeal to the U.N. to create “safe zones” inside Myanmar.
He said refugees describe rape being used as a weapon to scare families into leaving Myanmar and report villages being burned and people being robbed and abused. Bin Momen said that “these atrocities attest that the Myanmar government is using arson to depopulate northern Rakhine.”
Myanmar’s national security adviser says the crisis in Rakhine state “is due to terrorism and is not based on religion” and is urging the U.N. Security Council not to take measures that exacerbate the situation.
U Thaung Tun told an open council meeting Thursday that “there is no ethnic cleansing and no genocide in Myanmar.”
He said the current crisis was caused by “acts of terrorism” perpetrated by Rohingya Muslim insurgents and the vast majority of the people who fled to Bangladesh did so because “fear was instilled in the heart by the terrorists.”
He said diplomats accompanied by the media will visit northern Rakhine on Monday.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador is warning that “excessive pressure” on Myanmar’s government over violence in Rakhine state and the mass flight of people into Bangladesh “could only aggravate the situation in the country and around it.”
Vassily Nebenzia told an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday there is no alternative to resolving “the longstanding and complicated…