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UN Orders Myanmar de facto Leader to End Ethnic Crisis

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The United Nations (UN) has declared that Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has  been given  “a last chance” to halt an army offensive that has forced hundreds of thousands of the mainly Muslim Rohingya to flee abroad.

Antonio Guterres told the BBC unless she acted now, “the tragedy will be absolutely horrible”.

Last week, a UN High Commissioner alarmed that the offensive could amount to an attempted ethnic cleansing.

However, Myanmar authorities have been claiming it was responding to last month’s deadly attacks by militants and has denied it was targeting civilians.

The military launched its operation after the attacks on police in the northern Rakhine state.

In an interview with the media, the UN General Assembly, Mr Guterres was quoted Aung San Suu Kyi had a last chance to stop the offensive during her address to the nation on Tuesday.

“If she does not reverse the situation now, then I think the tragedy will be absolutely horrible, and unfortunately then I don’t see how this can be reversed in the future.”

Mr Guterres’ warning comes after Bangladesh said it was now limiting the movement of more than 400,000 Rohingya who have fled from Myanmar.

The Secretary General reiterated that the Rohingya should be allowed to return home.

He also said it was clear that Myanmar’s military “still have the upper hand” in the country, putting pressure “to do what is being done on the ground” in Rakhine.

Aung San Suu Kyi – a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent many years under house arrest in the junta-run Myanmar (Burma) – is now facing growing criticism over the Rohingya issue.

Already, the UN has hinted she would not attend her General Assembly in New York. She however defended that the crisis is being distorted by a ”huge iceberg of misinformation.”


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