The United Nations has given Burmese leader, Aung San Suu Kyi a “last chance” to halt the Rohingya crisis which it described as “ethnic cleansing”.
The organization’s Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres gave the warning in an interview with BBC, where he added that Ms. Suu Kyi, still has the “opportunity” to “make sure the carnage stops”.
Speaking with BBC, Guterres said: “I would expect that the leader of the country would be able to contain it, and would be able to reverse the situation.
“She has a chance, she has a last chance, in my opinion, to do so,” the UN Secretary-General told BBC.
Mr. Guterres stressed that “the tragedy will be absolutely horrible” if the Rohingya crisis is not halted as soon as possible.
Ms. Suu Kyi who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights, is facing growing pressure over Burma’s military crackdown on the ethnic group, which has seen hundreds of thousands of Rohingya flee the country.
A spokesperson to the Burmese leader said she is expected to speak about the situation when she addresses the nation on Tuesday, September 19.
Ms. Suu Kyi is not attending the UN General Assembly, taking place at the moment, and is staying in Burma to try and “control the security situation”, a government official said.
Meanwhile, an estimated 410,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority have fled from western Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape a military offensive that the United Nations has branded a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
The Independent UK reports that those fleeing the country have been photographed climbing over barbed wire border fences to escape, and reports have emerged of landmines being placed at border areas to prevent the Rohingya from returning.
Aid agencies are worried in Bangladesh that they don’t have the capacity to deal with the huge influx of refugees, most of whom are arriving hungry and without clothes or supplies.
The development is coming after two women and a child was killed last week in a stampede for aid at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and another three people were killed on Friday amid a stampede at in the city’s Balukhali Pan Bazar area as aid supplies were being thrown from lorries.
“Many people are arriving hungry, exhausted and with no food or water,” Mark Pierce, Bangladesh country director for the Save the Children aid agency said in a statement.
“I’m particularly worried that the demand for food, shelter, water and basic hygiene support is not being met due to the sheer number of people in need. If families can’t meet their basic needs, the suffering will get even worse and lives could be lost,” Pierce added.