Myanmar is continuing its ethnic cleansing of Rohingya, a UN envoy said after visiting refugees in Bangladesh. Some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar since late August to escape violence and persecution.
Myanmar has launched a "campaign of terror and forced starvation" against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state as it carries on its ethnic cleansing of the minority group, a UN human rights envoy said on Tuesday.
"The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said after speaking to newly-arrived Rohingya in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
"I don't think we can draw any other conclusion from what I have seen and heard in Cox's Bazar," referring to the Bangladesh district that is home to most of the refugees.
"The nature of the violence has changed from the frenzied bloodletting and mass rape of last year to a lower-intensity campaign of terror and forced starvation that seems to be designed to drive the remaining Rohingya from their homes and into Bangladesh," Gilmour said.
The Rohingya, a vast majority of whom are Muslims, have been denied citizenship rights. They are viewed by the local authorities as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, although many have been living in the region for decades, if not centuries. Myanmar's Buddhist majority is often accused of subjecting them to discrimination and violence.