Bangladesh urged to extend protection to refugees

UN alarmed over renewed violence in Rakhine, warns of further atrocities

UN alarmed over renewed violence in Rakhine, warns of further atrocities Photo: Reuters

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk has said that he is deeply alarmed by reports of renewed violence and property destruction in Buthidaung township in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state, resulting in the displacement of potentially tens of thousands of civilians, mainly Rohingya.

"With inter-communal tensions between ethnic Rakhine and Rohingya high – and being actively stoked by the military – this is a critical period when the risk of yet further atrocity is particularly acute," the UN human rights chief said in a statement on Sunday.

"While we seek to corroborate information indicating serious violations, I appeal directly to the Myanmar military and Arakan Army to pause the fighting, protect civilians, allow immediate and unhindered humanitarian access, and comply fully and unconditionally with international law -- including the measures already ordered by the International Court of Justice for the protection of Rohingya," he said.

Volker Turk appealed to Bangladesh to once again extend protection to the vulnerable people seeking safety, and for the international community to provide all necessary support.