A tragic tale of ethnic cleansing!

Jerome Frank
September 27, 2017

Violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, which has caused more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh and resulted in widespread claims of atrocities and ethnic cleansing, was a discussed frequently at the U.N. General Assembly last week.

The latest string of violence in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents reportedly attacked various police posts and an army base.

Security forces say the bodies are among about 100 Hindus missing since ARSA attacked at least 30 police outposts August 25.

Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisation (Mapim) president Azmi Abdul Hamid said that since governments are taking their time in dealing with the worsening crisis which the United Nations has labelled "ethnic cleansing", the people themselves must take action.

"Malaysia strongly urges the government of Myanmar to end the violence, stop the destruction to lives and properties, allow immediate unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Rohingyas and all affected communities, and to resolve the Rohingya refugee problem", Aman said. Others have complained of being attacked by the insurgents on suspicion of being government spies.

It said 300 Arsa militants had rounded up about 100 villagers and killed majority on 25 August, the same date as the start of the latest phase of the conflict, in claims attributed to an unnamed Yebawkya villager.

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The minister issued an unusually sharp statement on Sunday night saying Malaysia disagreed with and was detaching itself from a separate statement sent out earlier in the day by the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano, who spoke on behalf of the 10 ASEAN foreign ministers.

The violence in Rakhine State and the exodus of refugees is the biggest crisis the government of Nobel laureate has faced since it came to power last year as part of a transition away from almost 50 years of harsh military rule.

"The Myanmar Government should cooperate with all worldwide aid organizations, rather than accusing them of supporting terrorism in their efforts to discharge their responsibilities to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to populations in need", they added. "Almost 4.5 lakh Rohingyas are reportedly living in very miserable conditions, as Bangladesh is not prepared to receive such a huge refugee influx", it noted.

Myanmar regards the Rohingya Muslims as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and communal violence has flared periodically for decades. As they were denied citizenship, Rohingya Muslims have faced obstacles in every sphere of life; their chances of studying, working and participating in politics have been restricted.

The leader of burma and Nobel peace prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi is the subject of diplomatic pressure increased in the past few weeks on this issue.

"What is crucial now is that Asean undertakes a coordinated effort to assist Myanmar in addressing the needs of the people in the area, in particular their security, livelihood, and well-being, and to provide humanitarian assistance to those communities which are affected", the DFA said.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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