Rohingya crisis: Humanitarian situation catastrophic, UN says

 
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New York, Sept. 14 (TNS): Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are facing a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says.

Guterres said alleged attacks by security forces on Rohingya villagers were completely unacceptable, and urged them to suspend military action.

The army says it is fighting militants and denies targeting civilians.

Some 379,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since violence began last month. Whole villages have burned down.

The Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority Rakhine state, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants. They have lived in Myanmar, also known as Burma, for generations but are denied citizenship.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

But Myanmar officials say the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will miss a key debate next week in the UN General Assembly.

She will, however, address the nation on TV on 19 September, the day the General Assembly meets. Officials said she would “speak for national reconciliation and peace”.

Suu Kyi has been criticised by former supporters in the West for failing to do enough to prevent the violence in Rakhine state.