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UN official accuses Myanmar of ‘ethnic cleansing’

A United Nations official has accused Myanmar’s government of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” with military operations in the Rakhine state, which has caused tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to be displaced, following a UN Security Council closed door meeting on the crisis last week.
John McKissick who heads the UN refugee agency UNHCR in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar told the BBC that Myanmar’s military was engaged in “collective punishment of the Rohingya minority".
"Now it's very difficult for the Bangladeshi government to say the border is open because this would further encourage the government of Myanmar to continue the atrocities and push them out until they have achieved their ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in Myanmar," he said.
Soldiers and policemen had been "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river" into Bangladesh, Mr McKissick added.
A government spokesman said the regime was "very, very disappointed" by his comments.
Meanwhile the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power reportedly warned that the situation in the country was deteriorating rapidly in a closed meeting of the UN Security Counci, last week according to Reuters.
"Initial enthusiasm of (the) international community to let Myanmar continue on this path of reform on its own seems to be dangerous at this stage," two diplomats briefed on the discussions quoted Ms Power as stating.
She went on to call for an opening of a UN human rights body office in the country and said the Security Council meeting has come at a "classic prevention moment".
Satellite images released by Human Rights Watch earlier this week  1,200 homes had been razed in Rohingya villages over the past six weeks.
The meeting reportedly “upset” Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who accused the international community of not “having the real information”. Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Zaw Htay also said that “the international community misunderstood us because of Rohingya lobbyists who distributed fabricated news”.
The UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Myanmar Vijay Nambiar, infamous for his role in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, "painted a picture of a government in conflict between the civilian and the military", a Security Council diplomat told Reuters. "A number of security council diplomats bought this line and felt the government needed more space.”