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Rohingya Crisis: UK Bans Military Training in Burma over Ethnic Cleansing
British Prime Minister Theresa May responded to criticism that the UK has dragged its heels on ethnic cleansing in Burma by announcing a ban on military training in the country.
The British Ministry of Defense will "stop all defense engagement and training of the Burmese military" until it ends its security crackdown against the Muslim Rohingya minority, May said.
More than 310,000 people have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks and more are trapped on the border, amid reports of extrajudicial killings and burning of entire villages.
This week, the UN's most senior human rights official described Burma's actions as a "textbook example" of ethnic cleansing.
Now the UK will end what No 10 called "educational training" of Burma's troops, stressing the Ministry of Defense was not engaged in combat training.
Speaking at the United Nations in New York, May told Sky News: "We are very concerned about what's happening to the Rohingya people in Burma. The military action against them must stop."
"We've seen too many vulnerable people having to flee for their lives. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese government need to make it very clear that the military action should stop," she added.
"The British Government is announcing today that we are going to stop all defense engagement and training of the Burmese military by the Ministry of Defense until this issue is resolved."
Myanmar's forces have been attacking Rohingya Muslims and torching their villages in Rakhine State since October 2016. The attacks have seen a sharp rise since August 25, following a number of armed attacks on police and military posts in the troubled western state.
The latest eruption of violence in Rakhine has killed more than 1,000 people, according to the UN.
International criticism of Myanmar's atrocities against Rohingya Muslims has been mounting, with protests around the world decrying the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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