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Twelve Nobel laureates pen letter urging United Nations to act on Rohingya crisis

16 September 2017

Al Qaeda militants have called for support for Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, who are facing a security crackdown that has sent about 400,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh, warning that Myanmar would face "punishment" for its "crimes".

Some Rohingyas say although they are afraid to return, they are not ready to abandon their homes altogether and become refugees in Bangladesh.

Myanmar has accused the Rohingya of burning their own homes and villages - a claim the United Nations criticised as a "complete denial of reality". Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been widely condemned for a lack of moral leadership and compassion in the face of the crisis, denting the Nobel peace laureate's reputation.

This development comes days after Bangladesh briefed India about the problems faced by it due to the influx of refugees from Myanmar following the ethnic violence in the Buddhist-majority nation.

The UN has appealed to the worldwide community to keep aside politics and support the ongoing humanitarian efforts to help Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar.

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Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the situation in the country's western Rakhine state was best described as ethnic cleansing.

Talking to reporters here, Tillerson also likened the violence against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims to ethnic cleansing.

Quoted by The Independent, UNICEF communications chief for south Asia Jean-Jacques Simon said it was hard to imagine what the "streams" of people crossing had witnessed.

"The global community must act to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya", the OIC said in a statement.

An estimated 370,000 have fled their communities to escape the killings, but so far Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's de facto Prime Minister, has failed to condemn the atrocities.

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What's happening: The Myanmar military has cracked down on the Muslim Rohingya minority group with "clearly disproportionate" insurgent attacks that led to a death toll of almost 3,000 people, according to The Guardian.

Suu Kyi, whose reputation as a human rights champion has been left battered by her response to the crisis, is to make a speech on the issue next week.

Analysts said India can not avoid taking a strong stand on a humanitarian cause if it wants to be taken seriously as a candidate for a seat in the United Nations Security Council.

"They were collecting information on the Rohingya for Myanmar", he said.

The 1.1-million strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country.

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Twelve Nobel laureates pen letter urging United Nations to act on Rohingya crisis