Dhaka, Bangladesh
World leaders condemn Myanmar's violence against Rohingya Muslims

World leaders condemn Myanmar's violence against Rohingya Muslims

United Nations, Sep 20: Rohingya Muslums sit in a temporary refugee camp after losing their homes during the violence in the Rakhine state. Rohingya Muslums sit in a temporary refugee camp after losing their homes during the violence in the Rakhine state. Speaking during the United Nations General Assembly in New York late Tuesday, world leaders condemned Myanmar's oppression and violence against its Muslim minority. Regarding the violence and oppression against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "the international community has failed in the Rohingya crisis, just like it did in Syria." He said the violence and crimes committed against the Rohingya will go down as a 'dark stain' in human history. "These developments have proven right our call to restructure the United Nations Security Council, which we summarized as the 'World is bigger than 5,'" he added, mentioning his criticism about the structure of the UNSC, which only has five permanent members who basically decide the top governing body's policies. French President Emmanuel Macron also called for an end to Myanmar's military campaign that has driven some 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from the country, describing their plight as ethnic cleansing, in his first address to the United Nations. "The military operation must stop, humanitarian access must be guaranteed and the rule of law restored in the face of what we know is ethnic cleansing" in Rakhine state, Macron said. France plans an initiative in the UN Security Council in relation to the crackdown on Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim population, he added. Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari also urged fellow leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Myanmar's "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya people. Comparing the situation in Myanmar's Rakhine province to the massacres in Bosnia in 1995 and Rwanda in 1994, the leader of Africa's most populous nation declared: "The international community cannot remain silent." More than 420,000 people have fled violence in Rakhine, which Buhari said bears the hallmarks of a "state-backed program of brutal depopulation" targeting Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity and Muslim religion. "We fully endorse the call by the secretary-general on the government of Myanmar to order a halt to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure the safe return of the displaced Rohingya to their homes in safety and dignity," he said. Earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also urged Myanmar to halt its military campaign. Meanwhile, the UK announced that it suspended military training to the Myanmarese army. Britain said that it had suspended its educational training courses for the Myanmar military due to the ethnic violence in Rakhine state. London said it had "deep concern" about human rights abuses and would not be resuming the military courses unless there was an "acceptable resolution" to the ongoing Rohingya crisis. CBCNEWS adds: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Aung San Suu Kyi must publicly condemn the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, or else her rhetoric and global reputation as a champion of human rights will mean nothing. Suu Kyi, an honorary Canadian citizen and a long-celebrated Nobel Peace Prize winner, has come in for withering international criticism for failing to stop - or even speak out against - the violence. "It is with profound surprise, disappointment and dismay that your fellow Canadians have witnessed your continuing silence in the face of the brutal oppression of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim people," Trudeau wrote Monday in a letter to Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar. The powerful military in Myanmar is accused of burning down the homes of Rohingya Muslims, forcing more than 400,000 members of the persecuted minority to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, according to the latest UN figures. Suu Kyi has said she won't be attending the UN General Assembly meeting that is currently drawing leaders from around the world to New York. The letter from Trudeau, which follows a telephone call last week, outlines the reports of what Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, recently called "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing," including extrajudicial killings, burning villages and land mines. It was released publicly Monday after the prime minister made reference to it in a joint news conference in Ottawa with British Prime Minister Theresa May. "As the de facto democratic leader of Myanmar and as a renowned advocate for human rights, you have a particular moral and political obligation to speak out against this appalling cruelty, and to do whatever is in your power to stop it," he wrote. "By publicly condemning the violence and taking immediate steps to protect and defend the rights of all minorities, you can help guide the people of Myanmar to surmount these deep ethnic divisions." Trudeau also outlined further steps he would like the Myanmar government and military to take, calling on the Myanmar security forces to end the violence and bring the perpetrators to justice through independent and impartial investigations. He also asked the Myanmar government to publicly welcome the return of all Rohingya refugees, alongside a commitment to address the issue of their citizenship, equality and human rights. The prime minister also asked the Myanmar government to provide the UN and international humanitarian agencies full access to the region. Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the UN, had a similar message on Monday, urging Myanmar to end military operations and grant access to humanitarian workers. Haley also called for Myanmar to help with the safe return of displaced civilians. The Liberal government has been coming under increasing pressure from advocates to strip Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship - an issue Trudeau did not address either in the letter or when asked about it Monday. But he did quote Suu Kyi's 2012 Nobel lecture, in which she spoke of the value of kindness. "These are laudable words," Trudeau wrote. "In order for them, and your various honours, to retain any meaning, you must defend the Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar." The federal government of Canada has announced $2.55 million in funding to United Nations agencies grappling with a huge influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar in recent weeks to escape what the UN's human rights chief has called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing." The Canadian funding announcement follows an urgent appeal by the office of the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Bangladesh last week, calling for $77 million US to help humanitarian agencies operating in Cox's Bazar, in eastern Bangladesh, to assist people who have fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, where many of the Rohingyas have lived for generations.

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