Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina at United Nations urges 'safe zones' for Myanmar's Rohingya

Leslie Hanson
September 23, 2017

The mob threw petrol bombs at the boat and arrests were made, officials said. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing the Rohingya at the Supreme Court hearing, said the Indian constitution "provides equal rights and liberty to every person" including non-citizens.

Mohammad Salimullah, one of the two Rohingya petitioners, said the authorities in New Delhi had always been helpful so he was hopeful the court would support the refugees.

Most Rohingya villages in Rathedaung, to the north, were targeted.

The latest bout of bloodshed began in August when Rohingya insurgents attacked about 30 police posts and an army camp, killing about 12 people.

The United Nations says more than 420,000 Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of an army campaign that includes the burning of villages and rape.

Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said satellite images showed about half of all Rohingya villages had been torched and it was time that Suu Kyi, the government and military faced the fact that the security forces "shoot and kill who they want".

But getting aid to displaced people who remain inside Myanmar is not easy, reports the BBC's Jonah Fisher.

Police vehicles and a crowd of people are seen near the jetty where a Red Cross boat loaded with humanitarian aid docked, in Sittwe, western Myanmar, on Wednesday.

"But the Myanmar government is not responding to the calls".

The Bangladesh government and aid groups are struggling with shortages of food, water, shelter and medical supplies for the refugees, who keep coming, though at a slower pace than over the past couple of weeks, officials say.

ICRC spokeswoman Graziella Leite Piccoli confirmed to the BBC that there had been an incident, but could not confirm other details. "We would need to find out the reason for this exodus", he said.

Myanmar's government is facing mounting worldwide criticism for its response to the Rohingya crisis.

Vice President Henry Van Thio spoke to the U.N. General Assembly in the absence of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's civilian government who has been criticized for failing to protect the minority group. "The military action against them must stop", May told the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

But he repeated the government line that the reason for the upheaval was unclear and that the "great majority" of Muslims (Myanmar's government does not use the term Rohingya) had stayed behind. Bandarban is a neighboring district where thousands of Rohingya also have fled.

Media captionWatch: Who are the Rohingya?

"For the national races who fled their homes, first of all they must go back. that is their rightful place", he said in a speech in the Sittwe.

In the US, Vice-President Mike Pence accused the military of showing "terrible savagery" towards the Rohingya, the strongest remarks from the administration yet on the crisis. He warned the violence against the Rohingya will "sows seeds of hatred" that could consume the region and threaten global peace.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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