We have to take care of everyone, whether or not they are our citizens: Aung San Suu Kyi
The UN in Bangladesh estimates the number of refugees from Myanmar since August 25 could have reached 300,000. Photograph: (Reuters)
Nobel laureate and Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi assured all citizens that Myanmar would take "care of everyone living in the country, whether or not they are our citizens" without specifically referring to the Rohingyas.
"We have to take care of our citizens, we have to take care of everybody who is in our country, whether or not they are our citizens," Suu Kyi told ANI.
Suu Kyi added the situation in Rakhine has been difficult for many decades and it was "a little unreasonable to expect her administration", which has been in power for 18 months to resolve it.
"Of course, our resources are not as complete and adequate as we would like them to be but, still, we try our best and we want to make sure that everyone is entitled to the protection of the law," she added.
The US State Department reacted to the Rohingya crisis on Friday, declaring: "Following serious allegations of human rights abuses including mass burnings of Rohingya villages and violence conducted by security forces and also armed civilians".
"We urge all in Burma including in the Rakhine state to avoid actions that exacerbate tensions there," US State Department said.
The US ambassador met Myanmar officials on Thursday to discuss "allegations of violence" and access for humanitarian groups.
Meanwhile, UN in Bangladesh estimates the number of refugees fleeing Myanmar since August 25 could have reached 300,000.
"Many refugees are stranded in no-man's land between the border with Myanmar," medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement.
"Even prior to the most recent influx, many Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh lived in unsafe, overcrowded and unhygienic conditions, with little protection from the elements," the UN spokesman said.