UN urges Suu Kyi to visit Rakhine state

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NEW YORK:- The United Nations has called on Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take action to end a brutal military crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority in the country’s northern Rakhine state.

In a statement, the UN’s special adviser on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, appealed directly to Suu Kyi to intervene and halt the atrocities.

“The adoption of a generally defensive rather than proactive approach to providing security to the local population has caused frustration locally and disappointment internationally,” the statement read.

Nambiar said Suu Kyi had to visit Rakhine in person and restore confidence in the Muslim population there.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize laureate who has been lionized in Western media as Myanmar’s “democracy icon,” has failed to take any meaningful action to stop the crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine.

The northern state has been under a military siege since October over a raid on a police post that was blamed on the Rohingya. There have been reports of rape, murder, and arson against the Muslim population in the state. Over 20,000 Rohingyas have also been forced to leave for neighboring Bangladesh, where they are also kept at dilapidated refugee camps.

Suu Kyi, however, has described the crisis in Rakhine as “under control” and demanded that the international community stop stoking the “fires of resentment.”

The bloody crackdown on the Muslims by the military has now prompted an international outcry and poses the biggest challenge to Suu Kyi since her National League for Democracy party won Myanmar’s first democratic elections in a generation last year.

On Sunday, Malaysia has accused Myanmar’s army of “genocide” against the Rohingya. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak taunted Suu Kyi in an address before a crowd of about 5,000 protesters in Kuala Lumpur.

“What’s the use of Aung San Suu Kyi having a Nobel prize?” he said. “The world cannot sit and watch genocide taking place.”

Before the current escalation in violence, over 120,000 Rohingya Muslims had already been trapped in squalid displacement camps dating back to the last major outbreak of violence by Buddhists in Rakhine in 2012

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