United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to Myanmar authorities on Tuesday to end violence in the country’s Rakhine state, which he warned was “creating a situation that can destabilize the region.”
Guterres told reporters he had written to the UN Security Council to express his concern and propose steps to end the violence. When asked about ethnic cleansing, Guterres said: “We are facing a risk, I hope we don’t get there.”
The situation has raised fears of a humanitarian crisis in overstretched border camps, with another 400,000 of the Muslim ethnic minority estimated to be trapped in conflict zones in western Myanmar since more “clearance operations” by security forces in Rakhine state began last month.
Guterres told reporters he had written to the security council to express his concern. When asked about ethnic cleansing, Guterres said: “We are facing a risk, I hope we don’t get there.”
The latest violence in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state began on Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of villagers to Bangladesh.
CNN wrote that in solidarity with the Muslim minority, tens of thousands of people marched through the Chechen Republic’s capital city of Grozny.
According to a government statement, the protest in Chechnya, which is part of the Russian Federation, was attended by more than a million people.
Protests in Chechnya are heavily regulated and typically orchestrated by authorities, said former Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty, who added that the protests could be an effort by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to position himself as a global Muslim leader.
On his official Instagram account, Kadyrov labeled attacks on Rohingya as “genocide.”
There were reports of smaller protests outside Myanmar embassies in countries around the world, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Germany and Australia.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday expressed “deep anguish” at the continuing violence, which he termed “deplorable.”