The amount of Rohingya Muslims leaving Myanmar’s Rakhine state has grown to over 370,000. The refugees have been forced to flee the area after excessive violence at the hands of the Myanmar military heightened last month.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have crossed into Bangladesh, sharing horrific tales of brutal murders and village burnings.
United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that the events are “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” The Rohingyas have faced discrimination for years in Myanmar, which claims the majority-Muslim minority are illegal immigrants.
The Myanmar military has refuted the UN’s statement, declaring that Rohingya militants are to blame for the violence and the military has not harmed civilians. “The terms crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing carry very serious connotations,” Myanmar ambassador Htin Lynn told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. “Democratic Myanmar shall never tolerate such atrocities.”
The overwhelming number of refugees entering Bangladesh has caused the country to put pressure on Myanmar to take back the retreating Rohingyas.