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Rohingya rapes ‘a tool of terror’ says envoy

Victims: Rohingya in a
Bangladesh camp PIC: GETTY

MYANMAR’S army used sexual violence against Rohingya Muslims as ‘a calculated tool of terror’, according to a UN official.

Pramila Patten, UN envoy on sexual violence in conflict, told reporters in New York the violence ‘was clearly a driver’ for more than 620,000 Rohingya to flee Myanmar. It was ‘a calculated tool of terror aimed at the extermination and removal of the Rohingya as a group’, she said. Ms Patten, who spoke to rape victims in refugee camps in Bangladesh earlier this month, added: ‘The sexual violence has been commanded, orchestrated, and condoned and perpetrated by the armed forces.’

Accuser: The UN’s Pramila Patten

Myanmar’s military have denied committing atrocities, which Ms Patten said could amount to genocide.

An agreement was reached yesterday between Myanmar and Bangladesh for the return of Rohingya refugees, but did not say how many.