Rohingya crisis remains acute: UN Chief

In Suu Kyi's Silence, Evidence of Growing Absence of Moral Conscience in Politics

Since August 25, the number of Rohingya refugees who have crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh has now reached 389,000, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to the UN Secretary General told reporters at the UN headquarters in NY.

Guterres said the situation in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine can be described as ethnic cleansing.

From Aug. 29 to September 11, a total of 20 boats have capsized and 96 bodies have been recovered, 53 of them children, according to the newspaper. "When people fled, they burned the houses with bottles of petrol and rocket launchers", the man told Amnesty. 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.

The letter was written ahead of a Security Council meeting on the issue, tentatively scheduled for Thursday.

More than 370,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence since August 25, according to the United Nations, an average of nearly 20,000 a day.

USA ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted that message Wednesday, writing, "We thank Bangladesh for hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing violence, with nowhere to go".

"The evidence is irrefutable - the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar".

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Hundreds of Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority group, have died since violence erupted just over two weeks ago in the Southeast Asian nation, formerly known as Burma.

The Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

"The first reason [Suu Kyi can not attend] is because of the Rakhine terrorist attacks", the spokesman, Zaw Htay, said in a news conference, according to The Associated Press.

Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa wrote an open letter to Aung San Suu Kyi.

The government claims it is fighting a terrorist insurgency, targeting terrorists suspected of masterminding an attack on police posts in late August.

Guterres said the Myanmar government should either grant the Rohingya nationality or legal status that would allow them to live a normal life.

"I think it is important that the global community speak out in support of what we all know the expectation is towards the treatment of people, regardless of their ethnicity, and that we must - this violence must stop; this persecution must stop".

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