CAPE TOWN, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Wednesday urged Myanmar to address the current situation in Rakhine State where violence has sent more than 300,000 Rohingya civilians fleeing their homes in Myanmar.
The Myanmar government should handle the situation within the ambit of the law and uphold the rights of all those living within its borders, said Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
There have been reports of civilians being killed during security operations in Myanmar's Rakhine State. This latest round of violence came after the attacks on Myanmar security forces on Friday by Rohingyas, a Muslim ethnic minority denied citizenship in Myanmar.
As of Sunday, 313,000 Rohingyas, mostly women and children, have left Rakhine for Bangladesh since August 25, according to UN figures.
The Myanmar government regards Rohingyas, Muslims living in a Buddhist nation, as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.
South Africa supports the recent statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who has appealed to the Myanmar government to provide security to affected populations, and requested for humanitarian agencies to be granted access to affected communities in need of assistance and protection, Monyela said.
The South African government urges all parties to halt the violence in order to avoid further human suffering, said Monyela.
The South African government is mindful of the manifold challenges confronting the government and the people of Myanmar and has full faith that the Myanmar government will continue its process of democratization and political reform in order to deliver sustainable development, stability and to contribute to national reconciliation, Monyela added.