Boris Johnson accuses Aung San Suu Kyi of presiding over 'man made tragedy' ahead of official visit to Burma

Jack Maidment
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary - Getty Images Europe

Boris Johnson has accused Aung San Suu Kyi of presiding over a "man made tragedy” as the Foreign Secretary prepared to raise the plight of Rohingya Muslims with the de facto leader of Burma during an official visit.

Mr Johnson described the "suffering" the people have endured as "one of the most shocking humanitarian disasters of our time".

More than 600,000 men, women and children are estimated to have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following persecution from the Burmese military in their native state of Rakhine, which began in August.

The Foreign Secretary is due to meet Ms Suu Kyi on Sunday and he is also due to visit a refugee camp on the Bangladesh-Burma border.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Johnson said: “The plight of the Rohingya and the suffering they have had to endure is one of the most shocking humanitarian disasters of our time.

Burma's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

"This is a man-made tragedy that could be resolved with the right political will, tolerance and co-operation from all those involved.

"I want to see and hear for myself the terrible things these people have been through, and I will be talking to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other regional leaders about how we can work together to resolve this appalling crisis."

His visit comes after Reuters news agency said two of its journalists were arrested by Burma police while reporting on a "massacre" of 10 Rohingya men in Rakhine state.

Mr Johnson has embarked on a four day trip of Asia, including visits to Bangladesh and Thailand.