United Nations chief raises alarm over Rohingya in speech before Suu Kyi

United Nations chief raises alarm over Rohingya in speech before Suu Kyi

Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque also said Suu Kyi pledged on Monday that repatriation of the displaced people would begin within three weeks after Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh.

Responding to a question about her alleged silence on the issue Wednesday, Suu Kyi said "I haven't been silent".

"The secretary-general highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential", a United Nations statement said, summarising comments to Suu Kyi.

Tillerson has deemed Myanmar military leaders "responsible" for atrocities that the army denies.

The official did not comment on whether Tillerson would raise the threat of military sanctions, which United States lawmakers have pushed for.

The military said the investigation - which was led by Lt. Gen.

Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for decades but many in the country's Buddhist majority see them as foreigners. It said it found no instances of soldiers using "excessive violence".

With US senators in Washington pressing to impose economic sanctions and travel restrictions targeting the military and its business interests, Tillerson is expected to deliver a stern message to Burma's generals, while supporting the transition to democracy.

The conservative ASEAN, which includes Myanmar and other countries critical of its handling of the Rohingya crisis like Malaysia, has refused to formally discuss the crisis as a bloc in a strongly critical manner.

The report contradicts statements from ethnic Rohingya who have reported widespread abuses - including massacres, rape, looting and torching of villages - at the hands of Myanmar military and civilian mobs.

On Friday, the Burmese military replaced the commanding officer in Rakhine State.

The conversations in Myanmar could include consequences if the country's leaders can't formulate a "credible response" to the crisis that satisfies the worldwide community, the official said when asked if renewed sanctions were still under consideration.

However, it heavily restricts access to the region by independent journalists and aid groups, and verification of events on the ground is virtually impossible.

In a summit on Monday night with leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member, Guterres also voiced concern about the Rohingya.

Musician and campaigner Bob Geldof on Monday slammed Suu Kyi as a "murderer" and a "handmaiden to genocide", becoming the latest in a growing line of global figures to disavow the one-time darling of the human rights community.

"I can not hide my deep concern with the dramatic movement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh", Guterres told leaders including Suu Kyi.

He said he impressed on Duterte the need for respect for the rule of law and offered Canada's support and help.

He described the situation as a potential source of instability in the region, as well as radicalisation.

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