President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday became the latest voice to brand the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as “genocide”.
“France will work with its partners at the UN Security Council to take the initiative to get the UN to condemn the continuing genocide and ethnic cleansing,” Macron said in an interview with French broadcaster TMC in New York.
In his first address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Macron used the words “ethnic cleansing” to describe the mass killing of Rohingya in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.
“We must condemn the ethnic purification which is under way and act,” he added in his Wednesday interview. Since Aug. 25, more than 421,000 Rohingya have crossed from Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, who has also termed the killings “genocide”, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees. The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine’s Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.—Agencies