Dhaka, Bangladesh
Myanmar facing mounting pressure

Myanmar facing mounting pressure

Pressure mounted on Myanmar on Tuesday to end violence that has sent about 370,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, with the UN, United States, OIC, EU calling for protection of civilians and Bangladesh urging safe zones to enable refugees to go home, report agencies. But China, which competes for influence in its southern neighbor with the United States, said it backed Myanmar's efforts to safeguard "development and stability". The top U.N. human rights official denounced Myanmar on Monday for conducting a "cruel military operation" against Rohingya, branding it "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing". The United States said the violent displacement of the Rohingya showed Myanmar's security forces were not protecting civilians. Washington has been a staunch supporter of Myanmar's transition from decades of harsh military rule that is being led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. "We call on Burmese security authorities to respect the rule of law, stop the violence, and end the displacement of civilians from all communities," the White House said in a statement. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Myanmar should set up safe zones to enable the refugees to go home. "Myanmar will have to take back all Rohingya refugees who entered Bangladesh," Hasina said on a visit to the Cox's Bazar border district where she distributed aid. "Myanmar has created the problem and they will have to solve it," she said, adding: "We want peaceful relations with our neighbors, but we can't accept any injustice. "Stop this violence against innocent people." Myanmar has said those who can verify their citizenship can return but most Rohingya are stateless. Pakistan called on Myanmar to stop making "unfulfilled promises". In a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Pakistan said, "Discrimination, violence and acts of hatred are intolerable."

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