The United States has toughened its stance on Myanmar, accusing the country’s security forces of perpetrating “horrendous atrocities” against the Rohingya that amount to “ethnic cleansing” of the Muslim minority.
The statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited Myanmar last week, is the strongest US condemnation yet of the military’s crackdown against the Rohingya, which has triggered a major refugee crisis and escalating global outrage.
“After a careful and thorough analysis of available facts, it is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya,” Tillerson said in a statement. “No provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued.” More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled the mainly Buddhist country for Bangladesh since the military launched a counter-insurgency operation in Rakhine state in late August. While the army insists it has only targeted Rohingya rebels, refugees massing in Bangladeshi camps have given chilling and consistent accounts of widespread murder, rape and arson at the hands of security forces and Buddhist mobs.
2 Indian-origin men killed in air collision
An 18-year-old Indian-origin trainee pilot and his compatriot instructor were among four persons killed in a mid-air collision between a light aircraft and a helicopter in south-east England. Savaan Mundae, aeronautics student from Buckinghamshire New University who was training to be a commercial pilot, died with his instructor Jaspal Bahra in the Cessna 152 on November 17. Both Mundae and 27-year-old Bahra were British citizens. Air accident experts are still investigating the cause of the collision. Both aircraft disintegrated on impact and plummeted to the ground.
US Navy plane crashes into Pacific, 8 rescued
Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a US Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean . The C-2 “Greyhound” transport aircraft came down about 925 km southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear and will be investigated, the Navy said.
Indian origin man arrested after infant’s death in US
A 34-year-old Indian-origin man has been charged in the US in connection with the death of his one-monthold son for allegedly failing to seek medical care for him even after realising that the infant was unresponsive. Divya Patel of Rocky Hill, Connecticut was arrested after police discovered the child dead in the backseat of his car. The arrest warrant states he and the baby’s mother have been living from hotel to hotel since the baby was born.
Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe President
Zimbabwe’s former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who made a triumphant return to the country, will be sworn in as President on Friday.
Mnangagwa told adoring crowds in Harare that they were witnessing “unfolding full democracy” as he returned to take power after Robert Mugabe stepped down after 37 years in power. It was his first public speech since Mugabe fired him on November 6 over a succession tussle with the former first lady, a move that prompted the military’s intervention to force Mugabe from power, leading to his resignation.
Mnangagwa, who has close ties to the army and the security establishment, will be sworn in as President at an inauguration ceremony on Friday, officials said. “Today we are witnessing the beginning of a new and unfolding full democracy in our country,” he said in front of hundreds of supporters, some wearing shirts emblazoned with images of the 75-year-old leader. “We want to grow our economy, we want jobs all patriotic Zimbabweans should come together, work together,” he said.