Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis ‘catastrophic’, UN chief says

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SHAFAQNA- The United Nations Security Council has “expressed deep concern” about the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where over 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh to escape increasing levels of violence.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the 15-member council acknowledged the initial attacks on Myanmar security forces but “condemned the subsequent violence,” and called for “immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, ensure the protection of civilians.”

According to Matthew Rycroft, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United Nations, the statement marked the first time in nine years that the Security Council had agreed on this particular issue.

“We were united in our concern about the situation, in the deterioration of the situation and we have heard graphically from the Secretary General and (US diplomat) Jeff Feltman who briefed us on the catastrophe that is befalling Rakhine state and the Rohingya there,” said Rycroft.

Earlier on Wednesday, UN Secretary General António Guterres said that the crisis involving the Rohingya Myanmar’s Rakhine state had become “catastrophic.”

“Grievances that have been left to fester for decades have now escalated beyond Myanmar’s borders, destabilizing the region,” Guterres told reporters at the United Nations. “The humanitarian situation … is catastrophic.”

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