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Canada's Trudeau urges Suu Kyi to end Myanmar violence

© AFP | Over 380,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh amid a campaign of violence by the army

MONTREAL (AFP) - 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday urged Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end the violence which has seen nearly 380,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

During a phone call, Trudeau stressed Suu Kyi's role as a "moral and political leader" for the nation, as he voiced his "deep concerns over the situation in Rakhine state for Rohingya Muslims," his office said in a statement.

According to human rights organizations, 379,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar so far amid the army's ongoing violent response to attacks by Rohingya militants in Rakhine state last month.

Trudeau called upon Myanmar's military and civilian leaders to "take a strong stand in ending the violence, promoting the protection of civilians and promoting unimpeded access for the UN and international humanitarian actors."

The UN has described the army's violent crackdown as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", and called for "immediate steps" to end the violence Wednesday.

Suu Kyi, an honorary citizen of Canada and Nobel laureate, has been criticized for her ambiguous position on the Rohingya crisis.

At a press conference late Wednesday, government spokesman Zaw Htay announced Suu Kyi will address citizens next week with a message of peace and national reconciliation.

The Myanmar leader has cancelled a trip to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly to tackle the crisis unfurling at home.

© 2017 AFP