Myanmar's program against the minority Rohingya community, which has led to the migration of over 700,000 people from the minority Muslim community, continues as the country's government perseveres with its "campaign of terror and forced starvation" in the Rakhine state, a United Nations human rights envoy said on Tuesday.
"The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues. I don't think we can draw any other conclusion from what I have seen and heard in Cox's Bazar," Andrew Gilmour, the U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights said in a statement.
"The Government of Myanmar is busy telling the world that it is ready to receive Rohingya returnees, while at the same time its forces are continuing to drive them into Bangladesh," Gilmour said adding: "Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions."
"It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists," the U.N. statement stated.
“The nature of the violence has changed from the frenzied blood-letting and mass rape of last year to a lower intensity campaign of terror and forced starvation that seems to be designed to drive the remaining Rohingya from their homes and into Bangladesh," Gilmour added.
A repatriation agreement was initiated in January to send people from the minority community in camps, back to the country. But the deal has since generated controversy as it does not guarantee citizenship or safety upon return.
"Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions," he said.
A December report by the Human Rights Watch said the government torched nearly 40 Rohingya villages.
"Analysis of satellite imagery reveals new destruction of Rohingya villages during October and November 2017 in northern Rakhine State in Burma," the advocacy group's report said.