UN chief shocked by Myanmar general’s Rohingya remarks

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United Nations, March 27 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was shocked by the remarks made by Myanmar Army chief regarding the Rohingya Muslim minority.

“The Secretary-General is shocked at reports of remarks attributed to Myanmar Senior General U Min Aung Hlaing,” Guterres’ spokesman Farhan Haq on Monday.

At a gathering in Kachin state, Min Aung Hlaing reportedly referred to the Rohingya as “Bengalis” and said they “do not have the characteristics or culture in common with the ethnicities of Myanmar”, reports Xinhua news agency.

The UN chief urged all leaders in Myanmar to take a unified stance against incitement to hatred and to promote communal harmony, the UN statement said.

“Such leadership is critically needed to advance institutional measures to combat discrimination and implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission.”

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The Secretary-General reiterated the importance of addressing the root causes of the violence and the responsibility of the Myanmar government to provide security and assistance to those in need, the statement said.

Meanwhile, it is critical that conditions are put in place to ensure that the Rohingyas are able to return home voluntarily, in safety and in dignity, it added.

Rebel Rohingya militia launched deadly attacks against security forces in Rakhine state on August 25, 2017, allegedly triggering retaliation by Myanmar vigilantes and government troops. Some 688,000 Rohingya refugees had crossed into neighbouring Bangladesh by February.

–IANS

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