India has called for an immediate end to violence in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, urging its ally to act with restraint as hordes of Rohingya flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.
“We would urge that the situation in Rakhine State be handled with restraint and maturity, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population alongside those of the security forces,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Saturday.
“It is imperative that violence is ended and normalcy in the State restored expeditiously,” it said, adding it was concerned about the outflow of refugees.
The call came days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a state visit to the Buddhist-majority country amid spiralling violence in Rakhine that has forced nearly 300,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee.
Modi condemned a series of coordinated attacks by suspected Rohingya militants on Myanmar troops and police on August 25, but did not comment on the subsequent violence against the Rohingya and their mass exodus.
Fleeing Rohingya accuse the security forces of mass killings and rapes and the burning of hundreds of villages.
Myanmar does not want its 1.1 million Rohingya, who are seen as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and are refused citizenship.
Successive regimes have historically discriminated against them even though many have lived for generations in Rakhine state.