Britain says suspends training of Myanmar military following violence

Muriel Hammond
September 20, 2017

According to the United Nations, over 400,000 Rohingyas have so far fled to Bangladesh since August 25, joining the around one million Rohingyas who were already in the country having traveled there during earlier times of unrest.

The Rohingya refugees have fled since the ongoing violence broke out on August 25 when Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) rebels attacked police checkposts and killed 12 security personnel.

He also said members of his team were in Bangladesh, adding, "We hope to have a preliminary report soon — in the coming one week or 10 days".

She accused the global community of overlooking the other challenges facing Myanmar, an overwhelmingly Buddhist country formerly known as Burma, where an estimated 1 million Rohingya Muslims have long complained of persecution.

She said that most Muslims are staying in their homes and that more than 50 percent of their villages are intact, but that she is "concerned" to hear that many are fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

"We are committed to the restoration of peace, stability and rule of law throughout the state", Suu Kyi said in front of a packed auditorium of Myanmar government officials and high ranking militarily personnel here.

More than half of the more than 400,000 Rohingya who have escaped Myanmar's military crackdown live in makeshift sites without proper shelter, clean drinking water and sanitation.

Richard Weir, a Myanmar researcher with the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch, said satellite sensors have detected "dozens of active fires" in Rakhine over the past two weeks.

The 1.1-million strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country.

"We want to find out why this exodus is happening", Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's governing party, said Tuesday in a nationally televised speech from the capital, Naypyitaw.

Nyan Win, a central executive committee of the ruling National League for Democracy party, said as there are thousands of refugees in Bangladesh they need documents of their refugee status from Myanmar to accept them.

In her speech, Suu Kyi invited diplomats to visit villages that weren't affected so they could learn why fighting did not take place in those areas. If what she said is not a lie then let the world media in, so that they can see whether we are tortured or we are happy. Because of the torture in Muangdaw town (in Rakhine state) people ran away to Bangladesh.

Earlier this month, the Myanmar government had said 176 out of 471, or 37.4% of all Rohingya villages were empty of people, and an additional 34 villages were "partially abandoned".

Such accounts are consistent with the stories brought by the mainly Muslim Rohingya, who accuse the Myanmar military and Rakhine militias backed by the army of carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya.

"It is sad that in meeting our diplomatic community I am obliged to focus on a very few of our problems when there are so many which I think we can resolve together", Suu Kyi said in English, aiming her half-hour address at foreign diplomats and fellow Nobel laureates who have grown increasingly dismayed by the violence and her refusal to speak out in favor of the Rohingya. "To the people, she is defending the country's image".

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