Myanmar is committing crimes against humanity in its campaign against Muslim insurgents in Rakhine state, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, Sept. 26, calling for the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo.
The U.N. refugee agency called for a redoubling of international aid for the 480,000 refugees – 60 percent of them children – who have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25 to escape the violence.
A Myanmar government spokesman rejected the accusation of crimes against humanity, saying there was no evidence.
Myanmar has also rejected U.N. accusations that its forces are engaged in ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in response to coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on the security forces on Aug. 25.
Refugees arriving in Bangladesh have accused the army and Buddhist vigilantes of trying to drive Rohingya out of Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
“The Burmese military is brutally expelling the Rohingya from northern Rakhine state,” said James Ross, legal and policy director at New York-based Human Rights Watch.
“The massacres of villagers and mass arson driving people from their homes are all crimes against humanity.”
Myanmar, also known as Burma, says its forces are fighting terrorists responsible for attacking the police and the army, killing civilians and torching villages. (Reuters)