Opening the current session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, High Commissioner Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein condemned Myanmar's violence against the Rohingya population, stating it was a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and called on the government to stop its “complete denial of reality”.
“We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians,” Mr Zeid said in his opening address on Monday.
“I call on the government to end its current cruel military operation, with accountability for all violations that have occurred, and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population."
Violence in Myanmar between government troops and the armed Rohingya organisation, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) has dramatically escalated in recent weeks after Myanmar's troops launched a large scale operation in Rakhine purported to be in retaliation for coordinated attacks on police posts by ARSA.
Mr Zeid however made clear that the response by Myanmar's troops was “clearly disproportionate”.