UN chief calls for end to 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya Muslims as Security Council condemns violence

‘UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that ethnic cleansing is taking place in Burma, leading to a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation for the Rohingya Muslim minority with nearly 380,000 people forced to flee to Bangladesh.

The UN Security Council also condemned the violence, with Britain’s UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft calling the statement – the first the UN’s most powerful body has made in nine years on the situation Burma – “an important first step.”

The secretary-general has been outspoken about calling for an end to the violence in Burma’s Rakhine state, and sent the Security Council an official letter raising his concerns about a crisis — the first time a UN chief has done so since 1989.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had accused the Security Council on Tuesday of ignoring large-scale “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingyas and demanded that it hold an open meeting and urge an end to the violence.’

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