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Senior UN official calls for peaceful solution to Myanmar's Rohingya crisis

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

Expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in Myanmar's restive Rakhine State, a senior UN has urged all sides to intensify efforts to find a to one of the world's worst refugee crises.

Acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Knut Ostby said he was "deeply concerned" over the January 4 violence in which 13 police officers were killed in raids by ethnic Rakhine rebels.

Around 350 militants from the stormed four police stations in the northern Rakhine State on Friday, "killing 13 policemen and wounding nine others", according to a statement released by the chief's office.

Ostby is "deeply concerned about the situation in northern and central Rakhine State" where an estimated 4,500 people have been displaced so far due to fighting between the and Myanmar's security forces, Stephane Dujarric, for UN Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Tuesday.

Dujarric said Ostby was shocked by the reports of attacks on January 4, regrets the loss of life and offers his deepest sympathies to the families of the police officers who were killed.

Ostby urges all sides to ensure the protection of all civilians and uphold their responsibilities under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law.

He also appeals to all sides to intensify efforts to find a to the situation and to ensure humanitarian access to all people affected by the violence, Dujarric said.

"The has been in close contact with the authorities in recent weeks and has offered to support ongoing efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of those affected by the violence," Dujarric said.

According to the UN estimates, nearly 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims have fled to to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State since August 25 last year when the army launched a military crackdown.

Myanmar does not recognise Rohingya as an ethnic group and insists that they are Bangladeshi migrants living illegally in the country.

The UN described the atrocities by the refugees as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing while the rights groups called it a genocide.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar, however, rejects the charge, saying its security forces launched a counter-insurgency operation on August 25 in response to Rohingya militant attacks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 12:10 IST