Nigerian president likens Myanmar crisis to Bosnia, Rwanda genocides

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday likened the violence in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims to genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, urging a halt to the "ongoing ethnic cleansing" and safe return of refugees.

"The Myanmar crisis is very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994," Buhari told the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

He added that the "horrendous suffering" had been caused by "state-backed program of brutal depopulation of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the bases of ethnicity and religion."

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols)