Tillerson calls for an end to 'horrors' in Myanmar

Tillerson calls for an end to 'horrors' in Myanmar

Tillerson calls for an end to 'horrors' in Myanmar

Global pressure on Myanmar heightened this week after United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the violence seemed to be a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

During a press conference at Lancaster house in London on Thursday, Tillerson stressed that the violence against the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority group, must stop.

The Southeast Asian nation's first civilian leader in decades has faced worldwide condemnation for a lack of moral leadership regarding the Rohingya, victims of what the UN views as a campaign of ethnic cleansing. "That must stop", Tillerson said. "Combined with those who fled during the last round of violence in Rakhine State last October, it is estimated that some 40% of the total Rohingya population living in Rakhine state have now fled into Bangladesh".

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He said he understood that Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel prize laureate and de facto head of the government in Myanmar, was in a power-sharing agreement with the military and the "complex situation" in which she found herself.

Those who arrived on Wednesday in wooden boats on beaches near Shah Porir Dwip fishing village described ongoing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where smoke could be seen billowing from a burning village - suggesting more Rohingya homes had been set alight. And so we appreciate the hard and complex situation Aung San Suu Kyi finds herself in. Observers say the violence is being carried out by the Burmese military.

One of the dozens of boats carrying Rohingya to the Bangladeshi border town of Teknaf capsized on Thursday and at least two people drowned, police said.

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Activists say more than 100 villagers, women and children among them, have been killed by security forces. According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

The Rohingya are a minority ethnic group located in Myanmar's western Rakhine state and are considered to be a variation of the Sunni religion.

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