UN chief: 'Last chance' for Suu Kyi to end Rohingya crisis



BERLIN/VIENNA, Robin Powell and Albert Otti (dpa) - UN chief Antonio Guterres has said that Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has one "last chance" to stop the refugee crisis in the west of the country.
Over 410,000 members of the Muslim Rohinyga minority have fled western Rakhine state into Bangladesh since a fresh outbreak of violence at the end of August, and thousands more arrive every day, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Sunday.



"I would expect that the leader of the country would be able to contain it, and would be able to reverse the situation," the UN secretary general told the British broadcaster BBC.
"She has a chance, she has a last chance, in my opinion, to do so," he said.
Acknowledging that the Burmese army - which still has large sway over politics in Myanmar after decades of military rule - also had a role to play, he said that "the tragedy will be absolutely horrible," if the situation cannot be reversed.
Amid the massive influx into Bangladesh, UN agencies are trying to prevent diseases outbreaks, especially among children, which account for 60 per cent of the recent refugee arrivals.
Some 150,000 Rohingya refugee children in Myanmar will be vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio in the coming days, UNICEF announced in Geneva.
UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Bangladesh's government are also trying to boost the number of health workers, to renovate birth clinics and to improve hygiene in health facilities.
The Rohingya crisis is set to figure as a key issue at the UN General Assembly in New York, where world leaders are gathering for meetings and to make speeches over the coming week.
Suu Kyi is skipping an appearance at the meeting, and is to instead make a televised address in Myanmar on Tuesday to talk about the crisis.
The exodus from western Myanmar began on August 25, when the military launched a crackdown in Rakhine after suspected Rohingya militants attacked army bases and police posts, leaving 12 security officials dead. The army said it had killed nearly 400 suspected insurgents.
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Sunday, September 17th 2017
Robin Powell and Albert Otti
           


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