After two days of ceremonious meetings, Southeast Asian leaders missed the bullseye in talks about two major human rights issues affecting their region: Myanmar's handling of the Rohingya crisis and the Philippines' bloody campaign against illegal drug traffickers.
Myanmar security forces have carried out "well organized, coordinated and systematic" attacks aimed at preventing members of the Rohingya ethnic group from returning, the UN Human Rights office said in a report on Wednesday.
Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh amid a fresh exodus from strife-torn Myanmar have described whole villages being emptied and thousands marching to the border as security forces redouble efforts to drive remaining Muslims from their homes.
When news came in early on the morning of August 25 that militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) had attacked police posts in northern Rakhine state, killing 12 people and ushering in a massive army crackdown, it did not take long for Myanmar’s new ‘information committee’ to swing into action.
Myanmar has moved hundreds of troops into northern Rakhine state as it ramps up counterinsurgency efforts there, officers said Saturday, after the UN voiced alarm over reports of a military buildup in the region.