Myanmar bars US official from Rohingya conflict zone

Some 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Burma and gone over the border into Bangladesh according to the UN. Nearly 100 have died crossing the river between the two countries

Buddhist majority Myanmar believes that the Muslim ethic group Rohingya were never a part of their country rather migrated over the centuries from what is now Bangladesh to Rakhine, previously Arakan during the colonial era. They claim to be descendants of Muslims and have had a tension-filled relationship with Myanmar's Buddhist population for several decades.

On Wednesday, the flight of the Rohingya Muslims prompted a rare rebuke from the UN Security Council.

The 1.1-million strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country.

"Our field research backs what the satellite imagery has indicated - that the Burmese [Myanmar] military is directly responsible for the mass burning of Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine State", said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The UN Security Council and Secretary General have expressed serious concerns over the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar urging the government to act swiftly.

The U.N. children's agency is estimating that 240,000 children have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh over the last three weeks.

Instead of attending the UN General Assembly's ministerial sessions, which open on Tuesday and run through September 25, Ms. Suu Kyi will give a speech in Myanmar next week that will cover the same topics she would have addressed at the United Nations, presidential office spokesman Zaw Htay said.

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Bangladesh's foreign ministry in the capital summoned the charge d'affaires of Myanmar's embassy and warned that the encroachments could lead to "unwarranted consequences".

The attacks triggered a sweeping military counter-offensive against the insurgents, whom the government has described as terrorists. "The humanitarian situation.is catastrophic".

"We would take help from the United Nations agencies", he said.

He said Bangladesh will also press the global leaders for the recognition of the genocide of Bengalis conducted by the Pakistan Army in 1971.

An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees are arriving in Bangladesh from Myanmar each day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said.

The violence in Rakhine and the exodus of refugees is the most pressing problem Suu Kyi has faced since becoming national leader past year.

Critics have called for her to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize for failing to do more to halt the strife.

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