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HRW: Myanmar burned Rohingya villages despite refugee deal

18 December 2017

"I once more applaud the Bangladeshi government for not leaving them alone", he said.

Satellite imagery shows that Rohingya villages in Myanmar continued to be destroyed even as Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement last month to return refugees from the ethnic Muslim minority who had fled their country amid violence, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

At least 354 villages in northern Rakhine State have been partially or totally buyrned to the ground since late August, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein told the BBC that attacks on the Rohingya had been "well thought out and planned" and he had asked Aung San Suu Kyi to do more to stop the military action.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein tells tomorrow night's BBC Panorama: "You can not rule out the possibility that acts of genocide have been committed". "But it wouldn't surprise me in the future if the court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we see".

Myanmar has in the past blamed fires in villages on insurgents.

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The State Counsellor's office and Myanmar's armed forces have denied any wrongdoing, instead casting its operations in northern Rakhine as a legitimate counterinsurgency operation in the aftermath of attacks on security posts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on August 25.

"We will have the opportunity to underline once again that we are ready to make all means of contributions at the highest level in these hard times Bangladesh is going through", he said.

Humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) last week released a report claiming at least 6,700 Rohingya had been killed in the violence including 700 children, based on surveys of refugees in Bangladesh. The investigation laid blame for the arson attacks on ARSA militants.

In August, the Burmese military launched a military campaign ostensibly targeting Rohingya armed groups, but which the Rohingya people, rights groups, journalists, foreign states, and the United Nations have said is targeting ordinary civilians.

He also criticised Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize victor, for failing to halt the crisis.

HRW: Myanmar burned Rohingya villages despite refugee deal