a UN human rights expert voiced alarm Friday at the Thursday deployment of the army battalion to Rakhine state, warning that warned the development was "a cause for major concern."
"The government must ensure that security forces exercise restraint in all circumstances and respect human rights in addressing the security situation in Rakhine State," said UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a human rights group, also expressed concern on Friday about the increased number of soldiers in the troubled state.
"Aung San Suu Kyi should call on all parties, including the Myanmar army, to take steps to de-escalate conflict in northern Rakhine state, rather than exacerbate it," said Eva Kusuma Sundari, a member of APHR’s board, referring to Myanmar's state counsellor.
Myanmar’s government already denies full citizenship to the 1.1 million-strong Rohingya population that lives there, branding them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, but the Rohingya community track their ancestors many generations back in Myanmar.