Myanmar is seeking the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority from its territory, a senior UN official has told the BBC.
Armed forces have been killing Rohingya in Rakhine state, forcing many to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, says John McKissick of the UN refugee agency.
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Time For Truth: (BBC News) – Myanmar wants ethnic cleansing of Rohingya - UN official
The new ambassador of the United States to Myanmar said on Tuesday he will keep using the term Rohingya for the persecuted Muslim minority, even after the government controlled by Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi asked him to refrain from it.
Members of the 1.1 million-strong group, most of whom live in apartheid-like conditions in a remote part of northwestern Myanmar, are seen by many Myanmar Buddhists as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The term is a divisive issue.
Thai authorities must step up witness protection for a major human trafficking trial with the accused including an army general and one investigator fleeing the country fearing for his life, activists said on Thursday as the first witnesses gave evidence.
The case includes 88 defendants allegedly involved with lucrative smuggling gangs that were trafficking Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar, holding them for ransom in jungle camps before granting onward passage to Malaysia.
Rohingya migrants trafficked through deadly jungle camps have been sold to Thai fishing vessels as slaves to produce seafood sold across the world, the Guardian has established.
So profitable is the trade in slaves that some local fishermen in Thailand have been converting their boats to carry Rohingya migrants instead of fish.