Aug. 29 (UPI) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on Myanmar's government to protect its citizens and allow them to flee to Bangladesh, amid a mass exodus that has become quite deadly.
Guterres said he is "deeply concerned" about reports of residents being killed during security operations in Myanmar's Rakhine State, according to a U.N. release.
At least 100 people have died in the crackdown by the predominantly Buddhist government against Myanmar's Rohingya people, a Muslim minority.
"The secretary-general, who condemned those attacks, reiterates the importance of addressing the root causes of the violence and the responsibility of the fovernment of Myanmar to provide security and assistance to those in need," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, said.
Some 3,000 people have attempted to flee to Bangladesh but Myanmar has tightened its borders.
"Recognizing that Bangladesh has hosted generously refugees from Myanmar for decades, the secretary-general appeals for the authorities to continue to allow the Rohingya fleeing violence to seek safety in Bangladesh," Dujarri said. "Many of those fleeing are women and children, some of whom are wounded."
Bangladeshi police said last weekend that 70 people were sent back into Myanmar after they tried to enter a refugee camp in the Ghumdhum border area.
Dujarri said Guterres wants humanitarian agencies to be granted access to affected areas.
"The United Nations stands ready to provide all necessary support to both Myanmar and Bangladesh in that regard," he said.
Guterres also fully supports the recommendations of the report by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the chairman of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state. He also urged the Myanmar government to implement the recommendations.
According to a U.N. release last week, "the final report puts forward recommendations to surmount the political, socio-economic and humanitarian challenges that currently face Rakhine State."