Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killings in Myanmar which have been targeted at the Muslim-majority Rohingya population.
The President also asked the United Nations not to forget the people of Palestine who have been suffering for decades.
Buhari said this while delivering his speech before over 150 world leaders at the 72nd United National General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
He said the killing of the Rohingya people was reminiscent of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
While expressing fear over the possibility of a nuclear war due to the activities of North Korea, the President urged the UN not to forget United Nations Security Council Resolutions from 1967 on the Middle East crisis which remains unimplemented.
Buhari said, “New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts. For example, several UN Security Council Resolutions from 1967 on the Middle East crisis remain unimplemented. Meanwhile, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the blockade of Gaza continue.
“Additionally, we are now confronted by the desperate human rights and humanitarian situation in Yemen and most tragically in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The Myanmar crisis is very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994.
“The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what from all indications is a state-backed programme of brutal depopulation of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the basis of ethnicity and religion.
“We fully endorse the call by the Secretary-General on the Government of Myanmar to order a halt to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure the safe return of the displaced Rohingya to their homes in safety and dignity.”
The President thanked the UN for assisting Nigeria to tackle its humanitarian crisis in the North-East.
He also commended the UN’s role in helping to settle thousands of innocent civilians caught in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“In particular, we must collectively thank the government of the Federal Republic of Germany under the commendable leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Governments of Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees.”
Buhari said his administration was fighting corruption but would need the assistance of the international community to succeed. (Punch)