United Nations condemns 'devastating' Rohingya abuse in Myanmar

A Malaysian flotilla has sailed for Myanmar in a bid to supply aid to Rohingya Muslims amid an escalating wave of crackdown and violence against the minority group.

Since that campaign began some four months ago, about 69,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh.

Around 13 worldwide non-government organizations, led by Putera 1Malaysia Club, sent off a relief ship Friday to deliver humanitarian and medical aid to the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine, Myanmar.

During the meeting, Md Shahidul said he understands the concerns of Malaysians and promises to get more information from the government of Bangladesh over the matter. Of 101 women interviewed, 52 said they had been raped or experienced sexual violence from the security forces.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that the violence reported by the Rohingya is unprecedented, and decried the frightful violence against Rohingya children by Myanmar's security forces. In December, John McKissick, head of the UN High Commission for Refugees, labeled the operations, which first started in October, "ethnic cleansing".

A 14-year-old girl also told of how, after being raped by soldiers, she saw her mother beaten to death and her two sisters, aged eight and 10, killed with knives.

Witnesses testified to "the killing of babies, toddlers, children, women and elderly; opening fire at people fleeing; burning of entire villages; massive detention; massive and systematic rape and sexual violence; deliberate destruction of food and sources of food", the report said. "See what we can do?" The spokesman said officials would look into them immediately.

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"They held me tight and I was raped by one of them".

"What kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother's milk?" asked Human Rights Commissioner Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein.

The military crackdown in Rakhine, home to more than one million Rohingya, was triggered by a series of Oct 9 attacks on border guard posts.

"And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her - what kind of "clearance operation" is this? What national security goals could possibly be served by this?" he added. They've been called "the most persecuted minority in the world".

"I call on the worldwide community, with all its strength, to join me in urging the leadership in Myanmar to bring such military operations to an end", said Zeid. "The gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the global community", he said in a statement.

"I call on the global community, with all its strength, to join me in urging the leadership in Myanmar to bring such military operations to an end", Mr Zeid said, emphasising that "the gravity and scale of these allegations beg the robust reaction of the worldwide community".

  • Adam Floyd