Macron says Rohingya crisis in Myanmar is ‘genocide’

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., on Tuesday. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 September 2017
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Macron says Rohingya crisis in Myanmar is ‘genocide’

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said attacks on Myanmar’s Rohingya minority amounted to “genocide.”
France will work with other members of the UN Security Council for a condemnation of “this genocide which is unfolding, this ethnic cleansing,” Macron said in an interview with the French TV channel TMC.
Macron’s use of the word “genocide” marks his strongest verbal attack yet on the military drive against the Rohingya.
More than 420,000 members of the Muslim minority have fled Myanmar for the safety of neighboring Bangladesh.
“We must condemn the ethnic purification which is under way and act,” Macron said.
“Asking for the violence to end, asking for humanitarian access... progressively enables an escalation” under UN auspices, Macron said.
“When the UN issues a condemnation, there are consequences which can provide a framework for intervention under the UN,” Macron said.
Rohingya, who are predominantly Muslim, are reviled by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
The UN human rights chief has described the systematic attacks against the Rohingya minority by the security forces as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”


About 20 Nigerian soldiers missing after Boko Haram ambush — Reuters sources

Updated 16 July 2018
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About 20 Nigerian soldiers missing after Boko Haram ambush — Reuters sources

  • Soldiers say their missing comrades were taken by the militants during an ambush
  • Military command denies losing troops, saying the terrorists in fact lost 22 of their men in fighting
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: About 20 Nigerian soldiers are missing after a clash with Boko Haram militants in the northeast of the country, security sources said on Monday, though the military denied reports that some troops could not be found.
The confrontation between militants and troops took place on Saturday in the Bama area of Borno, the state worst hit by the jihadist group which has killed more than 30,000 people since 2009 when it launched an insurgency to create an Islamic caliphate.
Three soldiers told Reuters more than 20 were missing.
“We lost some of our soldiers in the attack. It is possible those missing are dead. We haven’t seen about 23 of them now,” said an officer who did not want to be named.
Another soldier involved in the clash said the troops were ambushed while conducting a “clearance operation,” adding that “over 20 soldiers have not been seen up till now.” He said five military vehicles were taken.
The militant group carries out suicide bomb attacks in crowded places, such as markets, as well as gun raids and attacks on military bases.
At a news conference on Monday, the military said media reports of the soldiers being missing were untrue.
An army spokesman said suspected Boko Haram militants had tried to seize military vehicles in an attempted attack on troops in Bama but they had been repelled by troops backed by the air force.
“About 22 members of Boko Haram terrorists were neutralized while several others escaped with gunshot wounds. Efforts are being intensified by the troops to get the fleeing members of the Boko Haram terrorists,” said a military spokesman.
Boko Haram held territory around the size of Belgium in northeast Nigeria for several months until being pushed off much of that land in early 2015 by Nigeria’s army and troops from neighboring countries.
Bama, about 60 km (40 miles) southeast of Borno’s state capital Maiduguri, was held by Boko Haram from September 2014 until March 2015.
Nigeria’s government has said since December 2015 that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated.” Yet attacks continue in the northeast while another group, a Daesh ally that split from Boko Haram in 2016, holds territory.