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Army offensive aimed at 'preventing' Rohingya return

Army offensive aimed at 'preventing' Rohingya return

The report calls the operation launched by Myanmar security forces against Rohingya Muslims "clearance operations".

The Rohingya refugees began fleeing Myanmar from August 25 when Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militants attacked police checkposts and killed 12 security personnel, triggering a military crackdown.

Myanmar security forces have carried out "well-organised, coordinated and systematic" attacks aimed at preventing Rohingya ethnic group from returning, the UN Human Rights office said in a report on Wednesday.

Noting serious concerns for the safety of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who remain in northern Rakhine state, the United Nations called on Myanmar authorities to "immediately allow humanitarian and human rights actors unfettered access to the stricken areas".

More than half a million Rohingyas fled Rakhine since the offensive started, amid allegations by witnesses s of civilian killings.

Some of those interviewed said that before and during attacks, megaphones were used to announce: "You do not belong here - go to Bangladesh". He urged all Muslim countries to adopt the issue of the Muslim Rohingya and to inform their problem to the global public opinion to pressurize Myanmar to stop its massacres and offer political and humanitarian solutions to alleviate the suffering of these people to regain their rights.

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Renata Lok-Dessallien was the focus of a BBC investigation last month in which she was accused of suppressing internal discussion on Rohingya Muslims.

This included accounts of soldiers surrounding homes and firing indiscriminately as residents ran for their lives as well as uniformed men gang-raping women and girls, some as young as five.

Myanmar's government does not consider Rohingya citizens, referring to them instead as Bengalis from Bangladesh, despite their presence in the country for decades.

"It is highly likely that these mines have been planted in order to prevent the Rohingya population from returning", he said.

UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has described Myanmar's government operations in northern Rakhine as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

Teachers, as well as cultural, religious and community leaders have also been targeted in the latest crackdown "in an effort to diminish Rohingya history, culture and knowledge", the report said.