Alwaght- Myanmar regime forces have carried out "well organized, coordinated and systematic" attacks aimed at preventing fleeing members of the Rohingya ethnic group from returning, the UN Human Rights office said in a report on Wednesday.
The report, based on interviews with Rohingyas who arrived in Bangladesh in the past month, said that "clearance operations" started before armed attacks on police posts on August 25 and included killings, torture, and the rape of children.
More than half a million Rohingya Muslims have been driven out of northern Rakhine State, have had their homes torched, and crops and villages destroyed, the UN said.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein - who has described the Buddhist regime’s operations as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" - said in a statement that the actions appeared to be "a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return".
"Credible information indicates that the Myanmar security forces purposely destroyed the property of the Rohingyas [and] scorched their dwellings and entire villages in northern Rakhine State, not only to drive the population out in droves but also to prevent the fleeing Rohingya victims from returning to their homes," the report by his office said.
The mainly Muslim minority, who live primarily in Rakhine State, is not recognized as an ethnic group in Myanmar, despite having lived there for generations. They have been denied citizenship and are stateless.
The current crisis erupted on 25 August, when Myanmar’s army backed by gangs of Buddhist extremists brutally attacked Muslims in Rakhine state on the pretext of responding to the killing of security forces. In the ensuing operation, over 6,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed in what is clearly an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Myanmar has refused to recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, instead claims they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. Myanmar has come under international criticism for failing to stop the ethnic cleansing in its Rakhine state and in turn an exodus that has become the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades.