The army claims it is trying to flush out Rohingya militants who attacked police posts on August 25. But civilian refugees streaming into Bangladesh say they were terrorised by soldiers and vigilante Buddhist mobs who torched their villages to the ground.
Rohingya arriving in Bangladesh this week have told the U.N. that more than 1,00,000 more people are still waiting to cross the border into Bangladesh.
The United Nations says more than 4,20,000 Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of an army campaign that includes the burning of villages and rape.
In her Tuesday speech, Suu Kyi condemned abuses and said all violators would be punished. She did not address U.N. accusations of ethnic cleansing by the security forces
The announcement comes after Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina said she spoke to US President Donald Trump on Monday about Rohingya Muslims flooding into her country from Myanmar, but expected no help from him as he has made clear how he feels about refugees.
Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday had condemned rights abuses in Rakhine State, where conflict that began last month has forced 421,000 Rohingya Muslims to seek refuge in Bangladesh, and said violators would be punished.
Suu Kyi’s first address to the nation since the violence erupted came days after she cancelled plans to attend the UN General Assembly, a decision widely seen as a response to international criticism.
But Aung San Suu Kyi’s words on the Rohingya offer little hope of a solution anytime soon
James Gomez, Amnesty International regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific said, “Aung San Suu Kyi today demonstrated that she and her government are still burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine State.”
Suu Kyi had been under massive international pressure since the outbreak of the violence last month to intervene and condemn the brutal events.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said the “great majority” of Muslims within the conflict zone have remained and “more than 50 per cent of their villages are intact.”
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said the government is prepared to begin a verification process for those Rohingya Muslims who wish to return. Since August, over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have reportedly fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Aung San Suu Kyi also opened the door to international observers, asking them to visit the south-east Asian country and see things ‘for yourself.’
The exodus of Rohingya refugees from mainly Buddhist Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh has sparked a humanitarian emergency.
The head of the UN High Commission for Refugees said humanitarian assistance to the fleeing Rohingya will increase “very, very quickly.”