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Rohingya crisis: UN calls on Myanmar to rein in military campaign in Rakhine state

United Nations: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that it is "an absolutely essential priority" to stop all violence against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, allow them to return to their homes, and grant them legal status.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The UN chief called on Myanmar to rein in its military campaign in Rakhine state and allow hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya driven out by the violence to return home

He told reporters on Friday that the UN is also insisting on "unhindered humanitarian access" to all areas of northern Rakhine state, where more than 600,000 Rohingya lived before fleeing to Bangladesh.

Guterres is leaving Friday night for Europe and Asia, where he will attend a joint summit between the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which is certain to address the plight of the Rohingya. Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has faced growing international condemnation over violence against the Rohingya, is expected to attend the meeting in the Philippines from 10-14 November.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar doesn't recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, insisting they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. It has denied them citizenship, leaving them stateless.

The latest violence began with a series of attacks 25 August by Rohingya insurgents. Myanmar security forces responded with a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages that the UN and human rights groups have criticized as a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Published Date: Nov 11, 2017 08:59 AM | Updated Date: Nov 11, 2017 08:59 AM

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