Violence in Myanmar must stop: Tillerson

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Rohingya Muslims had to decide what to to bring and what to leave

Myanmar's state counsellor and de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize-winner, has been sharply criticized for turning a blind eye to ethnic violence.

The Burmese leader has faced mounting criticism over her response to violence against the mostly-Muslim minority in the country's Rakhine state.

"I yield to no one in my admiration of what she stood for and the way she fought for democracy", said Johnson, the foreign secretary, on Thursday at a joint press conference with USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

"The humanitarian situation is catastrophic", he said, noting that at the time of his briefing to the press last week, there were 125,000 Rohingya who had fled into Bangladesh.

On a visit to London where he met British Prime Minister Theresa May and foreign minister, Boris Johnson, he told a news conference: "I think it is a defining moment in many ways for this new, emerging democracy". And so we appreciate the hard and complex situation Aung San Suu Kyi finds herself in.

In a letter addressed directly to the Burmese leader seen by the Daily Telegraph, Ms Thompson wrote: "Few people have inspired me in my life the way you do. but I can not stay silent when women and children suffer". Since August alone, more than 270,000 Rohingya families have fled across the border to Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

Violence in Myanmar has invited reactions from around the world.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Wednesday called on Myanmar to halt military action and atrocities against the Rohingya in Rakhine state, saying the ongoing violence by security forces against the Muslim minority was "completely unacceptable and catastrophic".

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes, and torched Rohingya villages.

According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

The Myanmar authorities have targeted Rohinyga civilians after an insurgent group attacked police and military posts in the northern Rakhine state.


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