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Displaced Rohingya refugees from Rakhine state carry their belongings near  the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Displaced Rohingya refugees from Rakhine state carry their belongings near  the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Myanmar Playing Diplomatic Card to Avert UN Censure Over Rohingya

Myanmar Playing Diplomatic Card to Avert UN Censure Over Rohingya

Myanmar said on Wednesday it is negotiating with China and Russia to ensure they block any UN Security Council censure over the violence that has forced an exodus of nearly 150,000 Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh in less than two weeks.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi blamed “terrorists” for “a huge iceberg of misinformation” on the strife in the northwestern state of Rakhine but, in a statement, she made no mention of the Rohingya who have fled, Reuters reported.
Suu Kyi has been accused by critics across the world of not speaking out for the minority that has long complained of persecution, and some have called for the Nobel Peace Prize she won in 1991 as a champion of democracy to be revoked.
In a rare letter to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern that the violence could spiral into a “humanitarian catastrophe”.
He warned there was a risk of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar that could destabilize the region.
Myanmar National Security Adviser Thaung Tun told a news conference in the capital, Naypyitaw, that Myanmar was counting on China and Russia, both permanent members of the Security Council, to block a UN resolution on the crisis.
“We are negotiating with some friendly countries not to take it to the Security Council,” he said. “China is our friend and we have a similar friendly relationship with Russia so it will not be possible for that issue to go forward.”
Reuters reporters in the Cox’s Bazar region of neighboring Bangladesh have witnessed boatloads of exhausted Rohingya arriving near the border village of Shamlapur.
According to the latest estimates issued by UN workers operating there, arrivals in just 12 days stood at 146,000. This brought to 233,000 the total number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since last October.
Newly arrived Rohingyas told authorities that three boats carrying in all more than 100 people capsized in the early hours of Wednesday. Coastguard Commander MS Kabir said six bodies, including three children, had washed ashore.

 Landmines
The latest violence began when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of villagers to Bangladesh.
Myanmar has been laying landmines across a section of its border with Bangladesh for the past three days, two government sources in Dhaka said, adding that the purpose may have been to prevent the return of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence.
Bangladesh will formally lodge a protest on Wednesday against the laying of land mines so close to the border, said the sources who had direct knowledge of the situation but asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

 

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