Myanmar has invited UN chief Antonio Guterres to visit the country, National Security Advisor of Myanmar tells the United Nations Security Council.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday that violence against Rohingya Muslims in the northern part of Myanmar’s Rakhine state could spread to central Rakhine, where 250,000 more people were at risk of displacement.
Guterres told the UN Security Council during its first public meeting on Myanmar in eight years, that the violence had spiraled into the “world’s fastest developing refugee emergency, a humanitarian and human rights nightmare.”
“We have received bone-chilling accounts from those who fled - mainly women, children and the elderly,” he said.
“These testimonials point to excessive violence and serious violations of human rights, including indiscriminate firing of weapons, the use of landmines against civilians and sexual violence.”
Myanmar invites UN chief to visit country
The National Security Advisor of Myanmar told the United Nations Security Council that Yangon had invited UN chief Antonio Guterres to visit the country.
The statement came after the UN said that a visit of its officials to Myanmar had been postponed because of "bad weather."
Earlier on Wednesday, the UN said it had been told its representatives could join a government-steered trip to the area on Thursday - but the visit did not take place.
Halt on weapon supply urged
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday called on countries to suspend providing weapons to Myanmar over violence against Rohingya Muslims until the country’s military puts sufficient accountability measures in place.
“We cannot be afraid to call the actions of the Burmese authorities what they appear to be - a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority,” Haley told the UN Security Council.
“It should shame senior Burmese leaders who have sacrificed so much for an open democratic Burma.”
US senators call on Trump administration to act
A group of Republican and Democratic senators urged the Trump administration on Thursday to use the “full weight” of its influence to help resolve the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, in which over 500,000 people have fled their homes.
A letter signed by four Republican and 17 Democratic members of the 100-seat Senate also calls on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green to provide more humanitarian aid.
“Despite international condemnation, the Burmese authorities incredibly continue to deny the atrocities,” said the letter.
It also notes that current US law, including the Global Magnitsky Act, allows Trump to impose sanctions on people responsible for gross violations of human rights.