UN chief urges 'restraint' by Myanmar forces to avoid 'catastrophe'

Rohingya

Muslims are being slaughtered in Myanmar. Does anyone care?

Previous reports had put the number of dead at around 100 people.

In ARSA's first known operation, on October 9, 2016, hundreds of Rohingya men armed with knives, slingshots and rifles attacked three separate police posts in Rakhine state, killing nine officers. The Rohingya reject claims about their origins and say their ancestors have lived in the area for decades. And in a video statement released August 28, Jununi - standing beside two masked militants with assault rifles - described the insurgents as "the guardians and protectors of the oppressed Rohingya", claiming they were waging "a defensive war with the brutal Burmese military regime".

Jimly said a report published by The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State initiated by former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan was a good start, but that a cultural movement was also needed. "It is our gateway to ASEAN", she said.

Over the years, tens of thousands have attempted to flee across the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to Thailand and Malaysia.

Myanmar's military says nearly 400 people have died in recent violence in the western state of Rakhine triggered by attacks on security forces by Rohingya insurgents.

Members of the United Nations who were readying to investigate accusations of mass killings of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims were denied visas by the government, which is led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Meanwhile, authorities in neighboring Bangladesh reported three refugee boats that turned and sank into the Naf River on a trip from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Rohingya community self-identify as a distinct ethnic group, with their own language and culture, and claim a long- standing connection to Rakhine State in Myanmar.

Such reports have further amplified tensions, raising fears that communal violence in Rakhine is spinning out of control. "Mass atrocity crimes are continuing".

The ARSA emerged as a force in October past year when their attacks killed Myanmar border police, prompting a crackdown by security forces. He told Fortify Rights: "Some people were beheaded, and many were cut".

Border Guard Bangladesh has set up a medical camp for those stranded in the no man's land along the Naikhyangchhari border and waiting to enter Bangladesh.

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ARSA is believed to receive funding from the Rohingya diaspora and donors in Saudi Arabia, as well as other parts of the Middle East, ICG says. In an interview to local media group Mizzima on the eve of Modi's visit, Indian ambassador to Myanmar Vikram Misri said, "We don't want to do what some to do what some other countries are doing, we want to create public assets for Myanmar to use, not the commercial infrastructure to primarily promote our business". Bangladesh should also fully cooperate with the mission in allowing it to interview refugees in Cox's Bazar, Robertson added.

The latest deaths raised the Rohingya death toll to at least 40 on Friday, all of whom who died in the river trying to leave Myanmar.

According to information from the border forces of Bangladesh, the bodies of 15 children and 11 women were found. Ali Hossain, the district's deputy commissioner, told BenarNews.

The rag-tag unit has a real fight on its hands against Myanmar's well-equipped army, which has been offered military help from Bangladesh to root out rebels near the border. On Friday thousands walked through the slushy paddy fields, many with just the clothes on their backs. "We outnumbered them 17 to one".

"We do not know who those attackers were", said the resident of Bowlibazar in Rakhine who hid out in nearby hills for days before crossing the border.

Samira's group hailed from a village to the south of the major regional town of Maungdaw in Rakhine.

"They mercilessly slaughtered men, women and children", she said. "I came here to save my life", she said.

"Such instances violation of sovereignty may affect the existing understanding and cooperation between the two countries", reads the note of protest.

He said: "Min Aung Hlaing's soldiers are the ones killing hundreds of Rohingya and he is the only person in Burma with the power to order soldiers to stop attacking Rohingya villagers, shooting children and burning families alive in their homes".

It was not immediately clear if any casualties were suffered on either side.

The statement condemned the attack and pledged to "respond effectively". Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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