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  1. #41
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    Burma: 21,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to Bangladesh amid 'attempted genocide'

    by Adam Withnall - 12/6/2016

    New figures show around 21,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma in recent weeks amid accusations of potential "genocide".

    The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said: "An estimated 21,000 Rohingya have arrived in Cox's Bazar between 9 October and 2 December."

    The government of Burma has criticised media reports of violence against the Rohingya, and lodged a formal protest against a UN official in Bangladesh who said the state was carrying out "ethnic cleansing".

    At the weekend, the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak led a protest rally against what he called the "genocide" of the Rohingya minority, saying "enough is enough".

    And the UN's rights agency has said the Rohingya may be victims of "crimes against humanity", and that Burma "has largely failed to act on the recommendations made in a report by the UN Human Rights Office".

    Burma does not allow foreign journalists and investigators access to the western Rakhine province where the worst abuses are alleged to have taken place.

    But refugees interviewed in Bangladesh relayed allegations of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of state security forces, according to the AFP news agency.

    An analysis of satellite images by Human Rights Watch found hundreds of buildings in Rohingya villages have been razed.

    The conflict stems from a breakdown in relations between Burma's Theravada Buddhists and the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group, that has resulted in one of the worst refugee crises in the world.

    Bangladesh has proved reluctant to accept the Rohingya people, resisting calls to open its borders to the half a million still inside Burma and increasing border patrols.

    Islam is by far the majority religion in Bangladesh, and there has been outrage in the country at the treatment of their fellow Muslims across the border.

    On Tuesday police stopped thousands Muslims from marching to the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka to protest at the ongoing "genocide" of Rohingya.

    Shiblee Noman, an assistant commissioner of Dhaka police, told AFP about 10,000 Muslims joined the march, which was halted at central Dhaka's Nightingale Crossing.

    "They were peaceful," he said.

    More than 230,000 Rohingya are already living in Bangladesh, most of them illegally, although around 32,000 are formally registered as refugees.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/burma-21000-rohingya-muslims-flee-bangladesh-attempted-genocide-a7458091.html


    #Rohingya Muslim women and children fleeing persecution in #Burma.. - https://www.facebook.com/doamuslims/...0984919282406/

  2. #42
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    Myanmar army raped more than 250 Rohingya women and killed 50 of them



    Witnesses in Arakan province of Myanmar confirmed that members of the army raped a large number of women while attacking Muslim villages, and killed 50 of them as they were pregnant.

    According to a Rohingya Abdul Khalid Abdullah, one of the key witnesses, reported refugee camp in Bangladesh that he was working as a teacher in one of the schools of Muslim villages in Arakan province, before the Myanmar army demolished the entire villages.

    “The army has demolished the houses of the villages and the schools that I was working in, and raped more than 250 women and girls, and then they killed 50 of them as these girls were pregnant they had miscarriage due to sexual abuses.”

    He said “The soldiers trapped family inside their home, then burned the home… burnt them alive inside, then threw children and youth to the fire, then the soldiers, accompanied by Buddhist militants entered the mosques and burned the holy Qurans and then urinated on then.”

    Abdullah pointed out that the Myanmar army soldiers, confiscated jewelry and gold decorations of the women of the village, and then they made them naked, and forced them to wander through the alleyways of the village.

    He reported that the attack on the villages of Arakan province proceeds, which resulted in the destruction of more than two thousand houses, killed about 500 people and the arrested more than a thousand.

    He called on international organizations to provide assistance to the Rohingya, saying: “We only want to live in peace in Arakan province, Buddhists say we are outsides, this is not true at all, we Rohingya and our history spanning more than 500 years, in Arakan, we only want to live in peace on our land as we were, and the international organizations and diplomats to help us. “

    http://arakanna.com/wp_arakanna/en/?p=6208

    Comments: 250 is what we know off from these witnesses, hundreds have been raped without others knowing or others who know about it.

    ================================================

    Burmese Soldiers Raping and Killing Rohingya Muslims

    'The big picture is that the government does not seem to have any influence over the military'

    by Esther Htusan, Martha Mendoza - 31 October 2016

    Just five months after her party took power, Burma's Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is facing international pressure over recent reports that soldiers have been killing, raping and burning homes of the country's long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims.

    The US State Department joined activist and aid groups in raising concerns about new reports of rape and murder, while satellite imagery released Monday by Human Rights Watch shows that at least three villages in the western state of Rakhine have been burned.

    Burmese government officials deny the reports of attacks, and presidential spokesman Zaw Htay said Monday that United Nations representatives should visit "and see the actual situation in that region." The government has long made access to the region a challenge, generally banning foreign aid workers and journalists.

    But the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, Yanghee Lee, said serious violations, including torture, summary executions, arbitrary arrests and destruction of mosques and homes, threaten the country's fledgling democracy.

    "The big picture is that the government does not seem to have any influence over the military," said Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, an advocacy group that focuses on the Rohingya. Burma's widely criticized constitution was designed to give the armed forces power and independence.

    Although they've lived in Burma for generations, Rohingya are barred from citizenship in the nation of 50 million, and instead live as some of the most oppressed people in the world. Since communal violence broke out in 2012, more than 100,000 people have been driven from their homes to live in squalid camps guarded by police. Some have tried to flee by boat, but many ended up becoming victims of human trafficking or were held for ransom.

    When Ms Suu Kyi's party was elected earlier this year after more than five decades of military rule, the political shift offered a short, tense window of peace. But that quickly ended as the former political prisoner and champion of human rights failed to clamp down on military atrocities.

    The current crackdown has prompted an estimated 15,000 people in the Rakhine area to flee their homes in the past few weeks. The satellite images from Human Rights Watch show villages burning, and residents report food supplies are growing scarce as they are living under siege.

    US Ambassador Scot Marciel has urged Burma's Foreign Ministry to investigate the allegations of attacks and restore access for humanitarian groups trying to help.

    "We take reports of abuses very seriously," said U.S. Embassy spokesman Jamie Ravetz in Yangon, Burma. "We have raised concerns with senior government officials and continue to urge the government to be transparent, follow the rule of law, and respect the human rights of all people in responding to the original attacks and subsequent reports of abuses."

    Families in Rakhine depend largely on humanitarian aid for food and health care, but that support has been cut off for weeks by officials who will not allow outsiders into the region. A government-sponsored delegation of aid agencies and foreign diplomats was supposed to visit the region on Monday, but local officials said they hadn't seen anyone yet, and have not been informed they were coming.

    "The government should end its blanket denial of wrongdoing and blocking of aid agencies, and stop making excuses for keeping international monitors from the area," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7388906.html

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    Dozen Killed as Burmese Border Guards Open Fire on Rohingya Boats

    By Anwar M.S. - December 5, 2016

    Over a dozen of persecuted Rohingya people including babies/children were killed as the Burmese Border Guard Police (BGP) 'indiscriminately' opened fire on Rohingya-boats on Sunday (Dec 4) night as they were fleeing from the violence in northern Maungdaw.

    More than 15 people are killed and other two boadt full of people have gone missing. The police from BGP post at the mouth of the OoShyeKya River opened fire on the victims capsizing their boats as they were fleeing to Bangladesh.

    Till date, dead bodies of two babies and a woman under gruesome conditions have been recovered as they have stranded at the bank of Naff River in Myanmar's side.

    "What's the fault of these babies? What's the faults of innocent civilians to be killed like this? To see the dead bodies of the innocent children, who haven't really seen this world, is heart-wrenching to say the least", said an elderly person in northern Maungdaw

    Excluding this incident and other casualties within Maungdaw since the beginning of the Military offensive in northern Maungdaw on October 9, more than 250 people have been killed while the people were trying to cross the Naff River alone.

    Meanwhile, the Burmese military continue their offensives on the Rohingya civilians in northern Maungdaw committing killings, arbitrary arrests, tortures and mass rapes, while plundering their properties and rations and blocking international humanitarian aids to the region leading them to starvation and slow deaths.


    http://www.rvisiontv.com/dozen-kille...ohingya-boats/

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    Rohingya citizen said: My husband was slaughtered and burned my son before my eyes

    12.2016

    The Myanmar military forced “Mrs. Saminara Rehmat Karim” to flee to Bangladesh, after soldiers raided her village in Arakan (west), with a Muslim majority, and they killed her husband by slitting his throat and burned her son to death.

    She recounted as refugee in Bangladesh after the Myanmar military stormed her village, she said that “military forces raided our village Hati fara, a subsidiary of the city of Maungdaw, in Arakan about two weeks ago.”

    She explained that they were engaged in their usual routine before the raid on the village by army and caused burning of houses and destruction, adding: “we could go out into the market and prayed in the mosque next to continue our social life before the start of the events. But after the attacks, we can not do anything even we were unable to get out of our houses, due to lack of stability, and we were scared of death, in addition to the lack of any guarantee for our lives. “

    She pointed to escape from the village during a raid by the Myanmar army, saying: “In the meantime, one of the soldiers threw my son Mohammed Rafique, aged 5 years, in a house that was burning. My son was burned in front of my eyes. “



    Her husband, who was working in the field, exposed to attack by the army while he was praying in the rice fields.

    And she said: “My husband tried to escape from the soldiers, but they had fired the shots in the air and caught him and cut his neck.



    Following that i ran away from persecution to the village of my uncle, which was also witnessing attacks, so we decided to flee to Bangladesh, and we did not walk the roads between forests because the army uses mine, but we used boats across the river and we got to Bangladesh three days ago. “

    She concluded: “Now me and my son and my daughter got here, I do not know the fate of my other three children, and why we were attacked by the soldiers?”.

    http://arakanna.com/wp_arakanna/en/?p=6223

    Comments:

    May Allah ease their affairs, free them from this oppression and destroy the barbaric oppressors

  5. #45
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    Burma's Rohingya Muslims speak of massacres and rape as Terrorist Government denies genocide



    'They burned many people. They burned them in front of my house.'


    Rohingya Muslims have described horrific rapes, massacres and atrocities at the hands of Burmese forces as the government continues to deny allegations of genocide.


    Tens of thousands of people from the ethnic minority have been fleeing into Bangladesh to escape the violence, described as anti-terror “clearance operations” by the President’s office.


    A young mother told the Associated Press how soldiers raided her village in Rakhine state and set light to the thatched homes before shooting anyone trying to flee into surrounding fields.


    “They drove us out of our houses, men and women in separate lines, ordering us to keep our hands folded on the back of our heads,” says 20-year-old Mohsena Begum.


    She said that when about 50 people had been gathered together, the soldiers, along with a group of local men, pulled four leaders of Caira Fara village from the crowd and slit their throats.


    Ms Begum, who fled to Bangladesh with her son, said her husband was among those killed in the ensuing violence, and that she was also raped.


    In a separate attack, a 25-year-old Rohingya woman told Time magazine how troops torched her village, and that one soldier snatched her eight-year-old son away and threw him back into their burning home.


    The Rohingya have faced persecution for decades in Buddhist-majority Burma, where most are regarded as immigrants from Bangladesh and denied citizenship.


    Ground troops and helicopter gunships have been used in the operations, which have forced up to 30,000 people to abandon their homes, according to the UN.


    Satellite images analysed by Human Rights Watch showed 1,250 structures were destroyed in November in Rohingya villages.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...facebook-post#


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    Burmese military accused of raping, killing and burning down entire villages

    12.18.2016

    Burmese security forces accused of systematic campaign of violence against Rohingya Muslims as UN receives daily reports of rapes and killings



    Burmese security forces have killed, raped and burned down the houses of entire villages in a systematic campaign of violence against Rohingya Muslims, Amnesty International has said.


    In a report based on interviews with Rohingyas in both Burma and Bangladesh, Amnesty says it has documented the military’s “vicious and disproportionate” security campaign in northern Rakhine state over the past two months.


    The report cites multiple eyewitnesses alleging soldiers entered their villages and fired randomly, killing men, women and children. Several Rohingya women also claimed to have been raped by soldiers.


    The rights group accused the country’s leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, of “failing to live up to both her political and moral responsibility”.


    Burmese authorities have issued blanket denials that troops have committed any human rights violations, with Burmese government officials claiming the army is hunting “terrorists” behind raids on police on 9 October, in which nine police officers were killed.


    “The Burmese military has targeted Rohingya civilians in a callous and systematic campaign of violence,” Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said


    “Men, women, children, whole families and entire villages have been attacked and abused, as a form of collective punishment.
    He added: “The deplorable actions of the military could be part of a widespread and systematic attack on a civilian population and may amount to crimes against humanity.


    “While the military is directly responsible for the violations, Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to live up to both her political and moral responsibility to try to stop and condemn what is unfolding in Rakhine state.


    “The Burmese authorities have been wilfully ignorant over of the violations committed by the military in Rakhine state. These completely indefensible violations must end immediately, and independent investigations must be held to ensure that those responsible are held to account.”


    Although they have lived in Burma for generations, Rohingya Muslims are barred from citizenship in the nation of 50 million, and instead live as some of the most oppressed people in the world.


    Since communal violence broke out in 2012, more than 120,000 Rohingya have been driven from their homes and crammed into squalid camps guarded by police. There, they are denied healthcare and education, and their movements are heavily restricted.
    Some have tried to flee by boat, but many ended up becoming victims of human trafficking or were held for ransom.
    The report comes as the United Nations human rights chief said rapes and killings of Rohingya Muslims are reported to the UN human rights office on a daily basis.


    Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the government had taken a “short-sighted, counterproductive, even callous” approach to the crisis.
    He said the government's handling of issues in northern Rakhine state, where independent monitors are barred from investigating, risk grave long term repercussions for the region.


    At least 86 people have been killed, according to state media, and the UN estimates 27,000 members of the largely stateless Rohingya minority have fled across the border from Rakhine into Bangladesh.


    “The repeated dismissal of the claims of serious human rights violations as fabrications, coupled with the failure to allow our independent monitors access to the worst affected areas in northern Rakhine, is highly insulting to the victims and an abdication of the government's obligations under international human rights law,” Mr Zeid said.


    “If the authorities have nothing to hide, then why is there such reluctance to grant us access? Given the continued failure to grant us access, we can only fear the worst.”


    UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the UN human rights office had submitted a formal request for access to the area, which had not yet been granted.


    Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said his colleagues in Bangladesh had spoken to more than 1,000 newly-arrived refugees in the past few weeks who gave accounts of houses being burned, targeting of civilians and traumatised women and children who had witnessed the killing of family members.


    UNHCR could not verify the accounts first-hand, but it was extremely concerned and it urged the Myanmar authorities to investigate and the government of Bangladesh to give the refugees a safe haven, he added.


    Mr Zeid said in June that crimes against humanity may have been committed against the Rohingya.


    Ms Shamdasani said if the government did not handle the situation very carefully and address the grievances of the Rohingya minority, violence could ensue.


    “Unfortunately this is exactly what has happened in the past couple of months,” she added. “We are worried that this is going to get further out of hand. This is perfect breeding ground for violent extremists.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...=facebook-post

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    Myanmar Muslim killed after speaking to reporters


    Headless body of Shu Nar Myar found after he spoke to media during rare government-guided tour of restive Rakhine state.

    Myanmar police patrol near villages close to Rakhine state [Nyien Chan Naing/EPA]

    The headless body of a Muslim villager has been found days after he spoke to reporters on a rare government-guided media tour of restive northern Rakhine state, Myanmar police said on Friday.


    Police did not give a motive for the killing of the 41-year-old man, whose body was found floating in a river, but said he spoke to Burmese journalists on Wednesday in Ngakhura village.


    "On Thursday his family said he had disappeared after giving interviews to journalists," Police Colonel Thet Naing in Maungdaw town told AFP news agency.


    "This afternoon [Friday] I got the report his headless body was found... We have confirmed from villagers that it is him," he said.


    Myanmar soldiers have taken control of the dangerous and remote region bordering Bangladesh since October 9 when armed men raided police posts, killing nine officers.


    Troops have killed more than 80 people in Rakhine since the start of crackdown, according to official figures.


    Conflict analysts at the International Crisis Group say fighters behind the border post attacks have also killed several Rohingya "informers" perceived to be working with Myanmar authorities.


    At least 34,000 Rohingya Muslims have since fled to Bangladesh, taking with them allegations of mass-killings, rape, and torture at the hands of Myanmar's security forces.


    The Myanmar government has vigorously denied the accusations, setting off the latest war of words over a stateless minority whose status is one of the country's most incendiary issues.
    Rare media tour

    In a statement Friday, the president's office confirmed that a man - whom they identified as Shu Nar Myar - had been killed, adding he had denied stories of military abuse when speaking to the reporters.


    "Shu Nar Myar is the one who revealed that there was no case of arson by the military and police forces, no rape and no unjust arrests," the statement said.


    Two Burmese reporters, who did not want to be named, told AFP they interviewed the man on Wednesday at his village and had been contacted by police to say he was missing.


    The rare media tour of the area - open only to Burmese journalists - was organised by the government amid mounting pressure on de-facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to allow access to the conflict zone.


    Her government has responded to growing international alarm over the crisis with a dogged information campaign aimed at batting back reports of military abuse.


    Northern Rakhine has been under lockdown for more than two months since the hundreds of armed men launched surprise attacks on border posts.


    The International Crisis Group says the attackers are from a Saudi-backed group called Harakah al-Yaqin, which emerged after a wave of sectarian violence cut through Rakhine in 2012.

    The Rohingya have languished under years of dire poverty and discrimination from a government that denies them citizenship.
    The United Nations and other rights groups have repeatedly called on Myanmar to grant them full rights, describing the Rohingya as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.


    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/1...163948284.html

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    Burma’s Million-Strong Rohingya Population Faces ‘Final Stages of Genocide,’ Says Report

    The long-persecuted ethnicity is on the verge of "mass annihilation," say experts, with new evidence indicating government complicity

    by Rishi Iyengar - Oct. 28, 2015

    Despite the U.S.-led rolling back of economic sanctions, more than a million people in Burma are facing state-sponsored genocide, according to a new report.

    The Rohingya Muslim community of the military-dominated Southeast Asian nation, which is now officially known as Myanmar, has been systematically persecuted and expunged from the national narrative — often at the behest of powerful extremist groups from the country’s majority Buddhist population and even government authorities — to the point where complete extermination is a possibility, according to a damning new study by the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at the Queen Mary University of London.

    “The Rohingya face the final stages of genocide,”
    concludes the report.

    ISCI uses noted genocide expert Daniel Feierstein’s framework of the six stages of genocide, outlined in his 2014 book Genocide as Social Practice, as a lens through which to view Burma. Through interviews with stakeholders on both sides of what it describes as ethnic cleansing, as well as media reports and leaked government documents, the report enumerates how the Rohingya have undergone the first four stages — stigmatization and dehumanization; harassment, violence and terror; isolation and segregation; systematic weakening — and are on the verge of “mass annihilation.” The sixth stage, which involves the “removal of the victim group from collective history,” is already under way in many respects, the report says.

    Stricken from Burma’s 135 officially recognized ethnicities in 1982, the Rohingya have undergone decades of discrimination and disenfranchisement, albeit never to the degree they currently face. The Burmese government’s official position is that the Rohingya are interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh, despite many having lived in the country for generations, and it refuses to even acknowledge their collective name, preferring the loaded term “Bengali.” The report documents a systematic deterioration of the Rohingya’s situation since communal violence broke out in June 2012 in Burma’s Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state.

    Although the Burmese government has painted the strife — which saw hundreds of people, mainly Muslims, slaughtered during two main waves of violence that June and October — as a spontaneous outbreak of long-mounting religious tensions following the reported rape of a Buddhist woman, the ISCI report presents compelling evidence that the attacks were premeditated and possibly even organized by local authorities.

    Interviews with some of the perpetrators — none of whom have been prosecuted because of a supposed lack of concrete evidence — reveal that they were bused into Rakhine state’s capital city Sittwe from nearby villages, provided two free meals a day and told it was their “duty as Rakhine to participate in an attack on the Muslim population.”

    There are also strong indications that the government not only allowed the violence to take place unabated for almost a week, but that police, military and other state security forces participated in the attacks themselves, the report says.

    Since then, close to 140,000 Rohingya have been sequestered in squalid camps outside the state’s capital, heavily guarded and prevented from leaving by security forces. The 4,500 that remain in Sittwe reside in a run-down ghetto with similar restrictions on movement. A majority of the Rohingya, numbering about 800,000, are spread out across two townships in northern Rakhine state — another region completely blocked off from the outside world by the military.

    A lot of the food rations sent by international aid organizations never make it to the Rohingya camps, and denial of access to adequate health care have turned them into hotbeds for malnutrition and disease. As a result of the apartheid-like conditions, the inhabitants of these camps are also largely prevented from receiving an education and earning any sort of livelihood.

    “The abuses that the Rohingya are experiencing are at a level and scale that we have not seen elsewhere in Southeast Asia,”
    Matthew Smith, the founder and executive director of Bangkok-based nonprofit Fortify Rights, tells TIME. The human-rights organization has been documenting abuses in Burma, and Smith echoes the assertion that there is a strong reason to believe state-enabled ethnic cleansing is taking place in the country.

    “The Rohingya don’t have to be annihilated for someone to be held responsible for the crime of genocide,” he says. “They [Burmese authorities] are creating conditions of life for over a million people that are designed to be destructive.”

    There are more than just physical aspects to the Rohingya’s plight — they have been stripped of their citizenship, with their children no longer being issued birth certificates and laws restricting their marriage and birth rate. The government also excluded the community from the 2014 census unless they registered as “Bengali.”

    They have also been denied the right to participate in the upcoming Nov. 8 general elections, a complete reversal from the last election in 2010 when Rohingya voted in large numbers and some were elected to the legislature, as the military-backed government yoked their animosity to the Rakhine to see of the challenge of ethnic parties aligned with the latter.

    No political party has countered the Islamophobic national narrative, with even the liberal National League for Democracy (NLD) of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi going to the polls without a single Muslim candidate, and the Rohingya’s deplorable situation will likely endure no matter the election’s result.

    “There will be no change for the Rohingya,” says Shwe Maung, a Rohingya lawmaker from northern Rakhine state who has been barred from re-election. “The government is totally denying our community, totally denying our ethnicity,” he tells TIME. “Whatever is happening is with the ultimate objective of genocide or cleansing, which is to finish these people … and to drive them out.”

    In the absence of a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a growing likelihood that Rohingya will take to the seas en masse in order to flee their country — like thousands did earlier this year — in the coming months, falling pray to people-smugglers with often deadly consequences.

    “Many Rohingya tell us that their options are to stay in Rakhine state and face death or flee the country,” Smith says. “Many of them know that attempting to flee the country is in itself life-threatening, and they’re willing to take those risks because the situation in Rakhine state is as bad as it is.”

    The previous exodus, which reached its height this June, was not only enabled and encouraged but also enforced by government authorities, interviews conducted by al-Jazeera for its new documentary Genocide Agenda reveal.

    “They said, ‘You are Muslim and you are not allowed to live in Rakhine state. Get on the boat and flee wherever you want,’” an elderly Rohingya man says, recounting the presence of members of Burma’s security forces, army and police who forced them into the vessels. When his elder brother tried to resist, Rakhine Buddhists hacked him to death with a sword on the spot, he tells al-Jazeera before breaking down in tears.

    The documentary, released on Monday, is the culmination of a yearlong investigation by al-Jazeera and contains stark evidence of government intent to, at the very least, promote an anti-Muslim sentiment among the Burmese population. Classified government documents obtained by the news channel’s investigative unit warn of “countrywide communal violence between Muslims and Burmans” being planned at a mosque in Burma’s capital, Rangoon, (violence that ultimately did not take place), and a presentation given to new army recruits contains sections on the “Fear of Extinction of Race” detailing how “Bengali Muslims … infiltrate the people to propagate the religion” and aim to increase their population and wipe out the Burmese Buddhists.

    The film’s findings, as well as Fortify Rights’ research, were also the subject of an eight-month analysis by the Lowenstein Clinic at Yale Law School. The clinic examined the Rohingya’s circumstances according to the 1948 International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and precedents set by international law, and concluded that “strong evidence” exists to substantiate the claim that genocide is being carried out in Burma with intent to destroy the Rohingya.

    The clinic’s report, released on Thursday, calls for a commission of inquiry by the U.N. Human Rights Council to conduct an “urgent, comprehensive and independent investigation” into alleged genocidal acts perpetrated against the Rohingya.

    “The international community needs to understand in a deeper way, in a clearer way, that the abuses being perpetrated against the Rohingya are widespread, systematic and a matter of state policy,” Smith tells TIME. “The international community needs to take action. These abuses have been going on for decades.”

    Neither TIME nor al-Jazeera was able to obtain a response to the allegations from the Burmese government despite repeated attempts, though Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut told us last year: “We never pay attention to organizations such as Fortify Rights, which are openly lobby groups for the Bengalis.”

    Such attitudes do not bode well for the Rohingya, whose plight is grimly summed up by a woman living in one of the camps interviewed by ISCI.

    “If the international community can’t help us, please drop a bomb on us and kill all of us,” she says.

    http://time.com/4089276/burma-rohing...t-documentary/

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    Buddhist Monks Lead Genocide in Myanmar

    In Myanmar, it is the Buddhist monks who terrorize the Muslims.


    by Kyaw Kyaw Win - Jul 24, 2016

    Consider some of the violence sparked earlier this summer over the demand for recognition of Myanmar’s million plus Muslim minority, the Rohingya.

    Among other things, a couple hundred Buddhists rampaged through a village in central Myanmar, destroying a mosque and forcing Muslim residents to flee to a local police station, where they sought refuge for the night.

    Around 50 police were deployed to guard the village but residents will relocate to a nearby town. Win Shwe, the mosque’s secretary asserts, “Our situation is not safe, and now we are planning to leave the village. We still feel afraid.”

    Such attacks have become typical in Myanmar. Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific has requested that Myanmar’s new government condemn the attack and clarify that such violence against Muslims and other religious minorities be considered a criminal offense. He advocated an independent investigation, the perpetrators to face justice and for reparations to be made to the victims.

    Djamin appealed to the new government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Laureate who spent 15 years under house arrest for her pro-democracy activism, to unequivocally condemn all incitement to hatred, violence and discrimination “and take concrete action to protect the rights of all people in Myanmar regardless of their religion.”

    Such action seems unlikely to happen, however, since the government of Suu Kyi is strongly influenced by extremist Buddhist monks, whose Ma Ba Tha association regularly meets with the government minister. Their leader, Ashin Wirathu, uses social media to incite religious hatred and spread false stories, denigrating Muslims as mad dogs and rapists.

    The Rohingya people have lived in Myanmar for hundreds of years but the Buddhist majority oppose all moves to grant them official minority recognition. They insist on calling the Rohingya, “Bengalis,” a derogatory term intended to denote that the Rohingya are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. After extremist monks urged Myanmar’s government to officially refuse the existence of Rohingya Muslims in Burma and advocated the government drive the Rohingya out, Aung San Suu Kyi affirmed that her new government would not use the term “Rohingya,” because it is inflammatory, and has banned officials from using the term.

    Prejudice against the Rohingya is not new but has intensified in recent years. In 1982 the Citizenship Law reduced the Rohingya to the status of “foreigners,” and they have been denied access to education and employment with restrictions imposed on movement, marriage, and reproduction. Many Rohingya children cannot even have their birth registered. Violence incited by extremist monks in 2012 claimed hundreds of lives, including the lives of small children who were hacked to death with machetes. Villages were burnt and thousands of Rohingya displaced. Since that time, some 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya, have been trapped in grim displacement camps in close to the border of Bangladesh. [3]

    A two day conference concerning Rohingya persecution, held in Oslo, Norway in May 2015, concluded with a call from seven Nobel Peace Laureates to describe the Rohingya’s plight as genocide. Desmond Tutu’s appeal to end what he has termed the slow genocide of the Rohingya was backed by six fellow Nobel Peace laureates: Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland, Jody Williams from the U.S., Tawakkol Karman from Yeman, Shirin Ebadi from Iran, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia, and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel from Argentina. They stated that, “What Rohingyas are facing is a textbook case of genocide in which an entire indigenous community is being systematically wiped out by the Burmese government.”

    Hopes that the situation would improve for the Rohingya, after military rule was replaced by a semi-civilian government, have been disappointed. Since Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in November she has yet to address the ongoing persecution and Buddhist terrorism. She has even refused to accept the Rohingya Muslim as an ethnic people of Myanmar and requested that foreign dignitaries refrain from using the term. According to a government minister, this includes a request that the American ambassador refrain from using the term during high-level talks, following pressure from Buddhist nationalists. “We told them that the use of the term by the U.S. embassy is not supportive of national reconciliation in Myanmar.”

    The ambassador, Scot Marciel, has affirmed, however, that in accordance with international practice, it is for the Rohingya to decide. “Communities anywhere in the world have the right to choose what they should be called.” His response led hundreds of enraged nationalists, organized by Buddhist monks, to protest outside the U.S. embassy in the capital, demanding the ambassador stop using the term. “It is already clear that there is no such ethnicity as Rohingya in our country,” Win Zaw Zaw Latt, from the Yangon-based Myanmar National Network claimed. “We demand the U.S., as well as Western countries and the EU, stop using the term Rohingya.”

    This month the UN warned the Nobel Peace Prize winner to end government violations against the Rohingya, including torture and executions, since they may amount to crimes against humanity. It is ironic that Suu Kyi who spent 15 years under house arrest and was regarded as a major voice for human rights and freedom in Myanmar is today responsible for human rights abuses. And it is incredible how little American Buddhists talk about it.

    The Rohingya Muslims have often been referred to as “the world’s most forgotten people.” Hence, any effort to inform yourself about their plight can go a long way. Writing about them anywhere, on Facebook, blogs, or letters to the editor, can wake people up. American Buddhists traveling to Myanmar can challenge the monks there to abide by their precepts. And if your sangha is based in Burma, you can challenge teachers in your tradition to take a stand. American Buddhists have not been completely silent concerning the Rohingya, but like most of the rest of the world, we have largely ignored them.

    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/...de-in-myanmar/

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    22,000 Rohingya 'flee Myanmar to Bangladesh' in a week

    UN says at least 65,000 have escaped since the launch of an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state three months ago.


    2017

    At least 65,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar - a third of them over the past week - since the army launched a crackdown in the north of Rakhine state three months ago, according to the UN.

    The announcement on Monday came the same day as Yanghee Lee, the UN's human rights envoy for Myanmar, began a 12-day visit to probe violence in the country's borderlands.

    "Over the past week, 22,000 new arrivals were reported to have crossed the border from Rakhine state," the UN's relief agency said in its weekly report.

    "As of 5 January, an estimated 65,000 people are residing in registered camps, makeshift settlements and host communities in Cox's Bazaar" in southern Bangladesh, said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

    The exodus of Rohingya from northern Rakhine began after Myanmar's army launched clearance operations while searching for fighters behind deadly raids on police border posts in October.

    Human rights groups say the military campaign has been marred by abuses so severe they could amount to crimes against humanity.

    In Bangladesh, escapees from the persecuted Muslim minority have given harrowing accounts of security forces committing mass rape, murder and arson.

    The stories have cast a pall over the young government of Aung San Suu Kyi, with mainly Muslim Malaysia being especially critical.

    Myanmar's government has said the claims of abuse are fabricated and launched a special commission to investigate the allegations.

    Last week, it presented its interim report, denying accusations of "genocide and religious persecution" and saying there was insufficient evidence that troops had been committing rape.

    The report came days after a video emerged showing police beating Rohingya civilians, something the government said was an isolated incident after the officers were arrested.

    On Monday, the UN's Lee began her own investigation with a visit to Kachin state, where thousands have been displaced by fighting between ethnic rebels and the army.

    Lee, who has faced threats and demonstrations on previous visits over her comments on Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya, is due to visit Rakhine before leaving on January 20.

    Hardline Buddhist monk Wirathu caused outrage when he called her a "whore in our country" for criticising controversial legislation considered discriminatory to women and minorities.



    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/0...204436972.html



    -----------------------------------------------





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    Survivors claim Myanmar Army taking away young Rohingya women as sex slaves


    01.2017

    Sexual violence has become an effective tool of oppression for the Myanmar security forces who continue to raid villages in the country's Rakhine state in search of insurgents, allege locals and the Rohingyas who have taken refuge in Bangladesh.


    This correspondent spoke with several Rohingya women who claimed to have been picked up by the military and taken to camps.


    The victims, new arrivals at the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, said the military gang-raped them for days.


    “I escaped a military camp where I was detained and repeatedly raped by army men,” said an 18-year-old Rohingya woman now staying at Kutupalong registered camp in Ukhiya upazila.


    The victim, from Kularbill village close to Maungdaw town, said she was abducted by the army who killed her parents in front of her.


    “They took me to their camp because they found me attractive. In exchange for my life, they gang-raped me every day,” she said.


    She tried to escape after three days, but was caught by the camp guards. “Then they tied me up to a fence and raped me again.”


    She could not say how long she was held in the camp. “I escaped again and went to the border. A middleman saw my bloodied state and took mercy on me. He brought me here for free.”


    She was referring to boatmen who ferry the fleeing Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh on Naf River for money.


    Another victim, a 20-year-old from Hatipara village in Maungdaw, tried to explain the sheer horror of being violated in such a brutal way.



    “You do not know how humiliating it is to be subjected to such violence,” she said. “Sometimes three or four army men raped us for hours.”
    She was in the same camp as the 18-year-old, she told the Dhaka Tribune.


    Their stories are similar to the accounts of 23 other Rohingya women this correspondent spoke with at Kutupalong registered camp.


    So are the stories coming from other refugee camps – both registered and unregistered – in Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas.


    “These days, the military is searching houses for young Rohingya women,” claimed Abul Hasan (not his real name), resident of Baluhali village in Maungdaw.


    “When they find young Rohingya women in a house, they do not attack the men. They just take the women to their camps,” he said.


    He claimed many families were sending their young females away to Bangladesh to save them from the military.


    Among the most affected villages in Maungdaw are Wah Paik, Hawarbill, Bur Gow Zi Bill, Surow Gow Zi Bill, Kularbill, Lu Daing, Hatipara, Bura Shiddar para and Nasa Furu.


    The Dhaka Tribune has not been able to independently verify any of the allegations.


    Meanwhile, the Myanmar government continues to refute these allegations, saying they have not found evidence of such assaults and killings.


    Fear of stigma keeping rape victims from seeking help


    Many Rohingya rape victims want to hide that they were raped, fearing social stigma. This makes is it difficult to determine how many Rohingya women have been abused by the Myanmar security forces.


    Humanitarian organisations such as International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières – Doctors Without Borders) are providing primary treatment to the Rohingya rape victims at the camps.


    None of the aid organisations could give an official count of how many victims they have attended to so far.


    “We have been receiving victims of sexual violence here, but we cannot confirm how many we have provided treatment to,” said Eric Beausejour, project coordinator of MSF Kutupalong clinic.


    “We also cannot disclose the nature of the violence, nor can we confirm who the perpetrators were.”


    But several aid workers, seeking anonymity, said the number was quite high as many victims were reluctant to seek treatment.


    “Most victims take too long to come to us for help. Sometimes we receive patients who have become pregnant from rape,” said a field worker of an international aid organisation.


    “But these women have taken an arduous journey to cross over to Bangladesh after suffering horrific violence. We never force them to come forward; it is their choice whether they want to speak about it and get the help they need.”


    Another aid worker at MSF Kutupalong clinic said they had treated 40 rape victims as of December 26.

    http://www.dhakatribune.com/world/so...en-sex-slaves/

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    Burmese Muslim lawyer and Rohingya advocate murdered at airport


    A prominent Burmese lawyer who worked on human rights cases related to Myanmar's Muslims was murdered at Yangon Airport on Sunday.


    U Ko Ni was standing in the airport building when he was shot twice by a 53-year-old assailant.


    A taxi driver was also shot dead while pursuing the gunman - who was later arrested - while another seven people are reported injured.


    Ko Ni, a rare public voice in favour of the country's Muslim population, was a Muslim legal advisor to the governing party of Burma, the National League for Democracy.

    He had just returned from a one-week fact-finding mission to Indonesia.


    An expert on constitutional issues, Ko Ni had devoted much of his work to drafting laws that help combat hate speech and discrimination.


    A spokesperson for the government said that U Pe Myint, the deputy minister for home affairs - who originates from the Muslim-majority Rakhine province - was also at the airport.



    According to a police report, the alleged gunman is a man called Kyi Lin from Mandalay.

    There are around one million Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar and the UN has reported that the government are committing a genocide against the ethnic minority.


    John McKissick of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said that government soldiers were "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river" into Bangladesh.

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/ne...&utm_medium=sf



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    Asia’s version of Aleppo is happening in Burma



    Transition from military rule to democracy remains far from assured in Burma, where the military continues to be a formidable force. Now it is carrying out a scorched-earth offensive against Rohingya Muslim militants in Arakan state, a campaign that has forced 65,000 civilians to flee across the border to Bangladesh amid reports of mass rape, torture and the killing of innocents. Some 90 people have died. Therein lies a challenge for Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democracy movement who now tenuously steers the country, and for Burma’s foreign partners.


    We have urged Aung San Suu Kyi to be more outspoken in support of the long-suffering Rohingya minority, especially now that she has made the crossing from dissident to political leader of her country, which is also known as Myanmar. We think she should bring to bear her considerable moral standing as a Nobel laureate and do what she can — including promote unhindered investigation and reporting from the region — to end the abuses. But the ferocious assault on the Rohingya is being waged by the military, and the generals must be held to account first and foremost. With a quarter of parliament seats reserved for the military, those generals still dominate the power structure of this Buddhist-majority country.


    This is a delicate moment when outside pressure might do some good. The Obama administration celebrated Burma’s progress toward democracy, lifting sanctions and making high-level visits to encourage it. We have no idea whether President Trump will care a whit for the plight of this battered people. He and his appointees have shown no enthusiasm for advancing human rights abroad, and Mr. Trump is fond of strongmen. But the United States has made a big down payment on Burma’s journey toward a democratic society; further effort is called for, if a way can be found to do it without undermining Aung San Suu Kyi’s shaky position. The conflict in Arakan state should also bring a stronger response from the United Nations.


    The Rohingya civilian suffering is intense, even if it is not on the radar screen in the West. Though the scale of violence so far is smaller, think of it as the Aleppo of Asia — a nascent armed insurgency; a mass of helpless, innocent people; religious fault lines; and crushing blows from a powerful military. This is a powder keg that should concern all.


    Source : Washington Post

    http://arakanna.com/wp_arakanna/en/?p=7008



    Interviews: One in Three Rohingya Women Refugees Say They Were Raped

    01.2017

    One in three women interviewed by BenarNews this week in Bangladesh’s refugee camps for Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar claimed they were raped by security forces before their escape.

    A BenarNews correspondent, who spent four days visiting the camps in southeastern Cox’s Bazar district, reported that 17 of the 54 Rohingya women she interviewed said they were raped while Myanmar’s military launched a brutal crackdown in northern Rakhine state, after nine police officers were attacked and killed by an armed Rohingya insurgent group in October.

    Numerous reports of rape and other atrocities had emerged since the post-attack crackdown, which led to some 65,000 Rohingya entering Bangladesh, but this is the first time that numbers were cited based on random surveys of the extent of sexual assaults on women.

    Refugees who spoke to BenarNews also described a wide range of other abuses, including torching of their homes and animals, beatings, and killings of loved ones.

    The perpetrators, often operating at night, were members of the military or the Nadala, a uniformed paramilitary force, they said.

    Setara Begum, 24, a refugee in Kutupalong camp, said security forces snatched her one night as she was eating dinner in Naisapro village, in Maungdaw district, and took her to some nearby hills where she and some other local women were “tortured by turns.”

    “Failing to bear the barbaric torture, two women died there. I somehow managed to flee after being raped,” she told BenarNews.

    “They stripped me, beat my breasts and body; then they did whatever they desired,” she said.

    Her husband rescued her hours later. By that time, the security forces had burned their home, according to Begum. They hid in the hills for several days.

    “I could not eat rice for 10 days; my three children survived eating leaves. Coming to Bangladesh, they can eat here,” said Begum, who crossed the border on Jan. 13.

    ‘Crude denial games’

    Myanmar has come under international fire over the alleged mistreatment of the ethnic minority. On Thursday, representatives of 57 Muslim nations held an extraordinary meeting in Kuala Lumpur to focus on the humanitarian crisis gripping the Rohingya Muslim community.

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak warned that Islamic extremists could use the plight of the Rohingya, who are considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh by Myanmar’s Buddhist-majority population, as a way to radicalize the minority group, which is denied basic rights.

    A commission appointed by the government of Myanmar has rejected accusations that its military was committing genocide in Rakhine villages, which have been closed to Western journalists and human rights investigators.

    But earlier this month, in a rare official acknowledgment of the security forces’ abuses, several police officers were detained over a video that appeared to show policemen beating Rohingya during a security operation.

    The U.N. human rights envoy to Myanmar Yanghee Lee met privately in Naypyidaw Wednesday with de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss the violence in Rakhine state and reports of security forces committing the atrocities.

    “Aung San Suu Kyi and her government apparently lack the political will to confront its security forces about their actions,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), calling for an independent, international investigation of the allegations of rights abuses in Rakhine.

    HRW’s own investigations have uncovered that numerous women have suffered rape and sexual violence at the hands of the security forces, “yet the government continues its crude denial games rather than seriously investigating these grave rights abuses,” Robertson told BenarNews.

    The 17 women who were said they were raped ranged in age from 16 to 31. They gave their full names to BenarNews.

    ‘They pushed me with guns’

    Nur Jahan, 31, another refugee who spoke to BenarNews, said she was raped three weeks after soldiers took her husband from their home. He remains missing.

    “On December 14 last year, two [military personnel] tightly caught me and the other raped me; thus all of the three violated me inside my room. I got unconscious; I do not know whether more people raped me,” said Jahan, from Naisapro Noarbil village in Maungdaw.

    She said she reported her ordeal to a local leader when he visited the village; after he left, the military encircled her house. She went into hiding and fled to Bangladesh, where she said she received medical treatment.

    “My body got swollen due to their torture. I was admitted to the hospital as I could not bear the pain,” she said.

    Senoara Begum, 19, living in the Leda refugee camp, said she was heavily pregnant when she was raped. She cradled her baby, born after she arrived in Bangladesh, as she spoke.

    “They pushed me with guns. I was pregnant for eight months at the time but they did not spare me, and bit my cheek,” she said. A human bite mark was visible on the left side of her face.

    “They held [my husband] and took him away. Then they took me away to a room and raped me,” she said.

    Many rape victims: UN worker


    Officials and workers at non-governmental organization said it was difficult to track large numbers of new arrivals at the camps, but confirmed large numbers of rape reports.

    “Generally it is true that raped women are coming every day. A lot of the raped women also don’t disclose rape issues, because of shame. But I can say the number of rapes is really huge,”
    Tayeb Ali, leader of the Kutupalong unregistered Rohingya camp, told BenarNews.

    “Every day, new Rohingya are taking shelters in almost each of the houses of this unregistered Rohingya camp. Out of them, the number of raped women is huge. Along with old Rohingya, we are providing primary treatment to new Rohingya too,” said Samira Akter, with the medical NGO Bangladesh German Shompreeti (BGS) at Leda camp.


    Prior to the influx of Rohingya following the recent violence, about 35,000 refugees lived in two UN-registered refugee camps and 300,000 more in vast unregistered settlements immediately adjacent, where homes are constructed of bamboo and plastic and roughly 5,000 people have access to a single water source and latrine, as witnessed by a BenarNews correspondent.

    “The number of new Rohingya only in this camp is more than thirty thousand. Out of them, a lot of women are rape victims. The nature of the torture on them is very cruel,” a worker with the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) in Noyapara Rohingya Camp told BenarNews on condition of anonymity. “There are also incidents of abortions and miscarriages due to the rape of pregnant women.”


    http://www.benarnews.org/english/new...017173619.html

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    Burma: Rohingya Muslim babies and children 'being slaughtered with knives', UN warns

    Eight-month-old baby among children stabbed to death in their own homes during so-called ‘area clearance operations’ by Burmese security services, according to ‘alarming’ UN report



    2.3.2017


    Babies and children have been slaughtered with knives during a military campaign on Rohingya Muslims in Burma, according to a series of accounts in a disturbing UN report (a useless good for no thing reporting dog).


    An eight-month-old, a five-year-old and a six-year-old were all reportedly stabbed to death in their own homes during so-called “area clearance operations” by Burmese security services, which are reported to have killed hundreds of people since 9 October, in a Rohingya-dominated area in northwest Rakhine State.



    The chilling accounts, described by the UN as “revolting”, are outlined in a flash report from the United Nations Human Rights office. The report, which has been released early because of its alarming nature, is based on interviews with more than 200 Rohingya refugees who have recently entered Bangladesh after fleeing from violence they faced in Rakhine.


    One mother recounted in the report how her five-year-old daughter was trying to protect her from rape when a man “took out a long knife and killed her by slitting her throat”, while in another case an eight-month-old baby was reportedly killed while his mother was gang-raped by five security officers.


    A 14-year-old girl also told of how, after being raped by soldiers, she saw her mother beaten to death and her two sisters, aged eight and 10, killed with knives.


    During the crackdown in Rakhine, armed members of Burma’s security services are said to have rounded up Rohingya men and taken them away in vehicles, before then going from house to house gang-raping or sexually harassing women, and sometimes killing children who cried or tried to protect their mothers.


    In another case, recounted by a number of refugees in separate interviews, the army of Rakhine villagers locked an entire family, including elderly and disabled people, inside a house and set it on fire, killing them all.


    Many witnesses and victims also described being taunted while they were being beaten, raped or rounded up, such as being told “you are Bangladeshis and you should go back” or “what can your Allah do for you? See what we can do?”


    Other attacks against Rohingya Muslims by Burma’s security services include brutal beatings and disappearances. The vast majority of those interviewed said they had witnessed killings, and almost half reported having a family member who was killed, as well as family members who were missing.


    More than half of the 101 women interviewed said they had been victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence.


    Linnea Arvidsson, one of the four UN workers who interviewed Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and drew up the report, told The Independent she had never encountered such a “shocking” situation.


    “It’s shocking. I’ve never encountered a situation like this, where you do 204 interviews and every single person you speak with has a traumatic story, whether their house was burnt, they’ve been raped or a relative was killed or taken away,” said Ms Arvidsson.


    “In many cases we were the first people, other than their close family, who these people had spoken to. They would break down. Women and even grown men would be crying.


    “The women cried when they spoke of being raped, or seeing their children being killed. Men cried when they related how their houses had been burnt, and their concerns over how they would now be able to support their families.


    “It’s very rare for there to be such a high prevalence of violence. And when you think we spoke to just 204 people of a total of 88,000 who have fled the area, it’s really scary to think of the total numbers.”



    Ms Arvidsson added that the violent attacks against men, women and children were more than systematic operations in the search to find the insurgents responsible for the police killings in October, inferring that ethnic discrimination was also behind the slaughter of babies.


    “To say these are area clearance operations looking for insurgents who killed police officers doesn’t make any sense. To kill babies, toddlers and young children and rape women when you are trying to find insurgents doesn’t make sense," she told The Independent.


    “The testimonies we gathered pointed at two intents as the motivation of this persecution: the collective punishment following humiliation over the attacks against police officers in October, and the ethnic and racial element – the disdain for this minority.


    “You don’t slaughter eight-month-old babies because a police officer was attacked. It’s because you just don’t consider the child as human.”


    The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, described the “devastating cruelty” against Rohingya children as “unbearable”, saying the allegations of babies being stabbed “beg” a reaction from the international community.


    “The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk,” he said.


    “And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her – what kind of ‘clearance operation’ is this? What national security goals could possibly be served by this?


    “I call on the international community, with all its strength, to join me in urging the leadership in Myanmar to bring such military operations to an end. The gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the international community.”


    Mr al-Hussein also urged the authorities in Burma to bring an immediate end to the “grave human rights violations” against its people, saying: “The Government of Myanmar must immediately halt these grave human rights violations against its own people, instead of continuing to deny they have occurred, and accepts the responsibility to ensure that victims have access to justice, reparations and safety.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...=facebook-post

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    Thousands of children’s lives at stake as ‘indirect victims’ of Burmese crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, UN warns


    Exclusive: Number of undocumented victims of an alleged campaign of persecution could exceed total reported killed to date


    Fears are growing for the lives of several thousand children in northwest Burma suffering from severe malnutrition and lack of medical care but denied vital aid after a sweeping military crackdown against suspected Rohingya militants.


    UN agencies were unable to maintain lifesaving services for more than 3,000 registered children, mostly from the minority Rohingya Muslim community, in two townships of northern Rakhine state after the military sealed off the area during operations in response to the killing of nine policemen in attacks on border posts on 9 October.


    Following an international outcry, the military allowed the UN to resume limited aid operations in Buthidaung township in mid-December and last month in Maungdaw North.


    But many of the children originally receiving aid still have not been reached while others needing help were feared also to be succumbing to severe malnourishment.


    The death rate for acutely malnourished children left without support is between 30 to 50 per cent if not assisted within the first weeks, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).


    “We know from experience that as soon as there is closure then infections and diseases spread. So people who are coming [to get aid] might be completely new beneficiaries who have now become malnourished,” said one aid worker who asked not to be named.


    The military said last week it had ceased operations but the conflict zone remains closed to all foreigners. Non-Burmese UN staffers have had limited access, making full counts and assessments impossible.


    The 3,466 children were among a total of 13,155 listed in surveys last year as suffering from severe acute malnutrition in the two townships. An additional 60,000 children had been categorised as suffering from moderate acute malnutrition. Most belong to the stateless Rohingya minority living in utter poverty and deprived of basic rights and services for years.


    “Children were receiving lifesaving and prevention treatment, and children in need who don’t receive it have a high risk of dying,” Sabah Barigou, head of the Burma nutrition unit at the World Food Programme (WFP), told The Independent.


    Children belonging to a second group of 3,200 under a separate “moderate acute malnutrition” programme are now feared to have fallen into the category of severely acutely malnourished, with their lives at risk if help is not promptly resumed, senior UN sources said.


    A reported increase in military checkpoints might have deterred families from travelling to obtain aid.


    “The reports we have been receiving indicate that some people are not leaving their villages out of fear, even when services are available,” said Mark Cutts, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “The suspension of critical lifesaving humanitarian operations for over two months clearly had consequences, particularly for children who were already severely malnourished.”


    But without proper access it was difficult for the UN to quantify, he added.


    “Humanitarian action is not just about delivering food and other relief supplies. It's about ensuring that people are safe and that they have adequate access to health care and other essential services,” said Mr Cutts.


    Procedures to check whether some children had reached refugee camps in the port of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh are moving slowly as most lack any documentation.


    The crackdown is the worst since 2012 when communal violence between the Muslim minority and the military backed Buddhist majority resulted in more than 200 deaths and the forced detention of over 140,000 people, mostly Rohingya, in camps.


    According to Unicef, Burma is one of 36 countries with the highest burden of chronic malnutrition. A third of children under five are identified as “stunted”.


    Malnutrition has been exacerbated by decades of low-level conflict in ethnically mixed border areas, not just Rakhine where poverty is also widespread among the majority Buddhist population. However malnutrition rates are higher among the Rohingya, with one in five children acutely malnourished.


    In the conflict areas of Maungdaw and Buthidaung acute malnutrition was above the WHO emergency threshold even before the military crackdown began in October. The World Food Programme had been delivering therapeutic food fortified with supplements, and medical care. Mothers were also taught how to nourish children unable to eat or drink due to illnesses.


    Burma’s civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has little or no control over the military in their nearly year-old power-sharing arrangement, is starting to react to mounting international pressure. A damning report by the UN human rights office prompted the government to set up a commission to investigate alleged human rights abuses despite its initial denials of reports of killings, rape and mass arrests.


    The military also established a commission. At a press conference on Tuesday, the military defended its actions as lawful. “I want to say that I am very sad because of these kind of reckless accusations and neglect of the good things that the government and the military have done for them,” said General Mya Tun Oo, chief of the General Staff, referring to media reports quoting Rohingya residents describing alleged rights abuses.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...=facebook-post

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    The Unspeakable Horrors Endured by the World's Most Persecuted Minority

    The Rohingya people of Myanmar have lived through mass gang rape, brutal beatings, and killings. A new UN report exposes the scale of atrocity suffered by its women and children.

    When my two sisters, eight and ten years old, were running away from the house having seen the military come, they were killed. They were not shot dead, but slaughtered with knives." Jat* had already been raped by soldiers, and had watched her mother beaten to death too. She is from a village in the troubled state of Maungdaw in northern Myanmar, and has seen her entire family killed with long knives—the kind used for slaughtering cattle.

    Jat was targeted because she is a Muslim Rohingya, described by the UN as the most heavily persecuted ethnic group in the world. Since October, 70,000 Rohingya have fled across the narrow stretch of the Bay of Bengal to Bangladesh—they pay extortionate bribes to smugglers, or some try to paddle themselves across on floating plastic containers. According to a UN report released in early February, thousands of Muslims like Jat have been slaughtered across the region, in what is being described by the Malaysian government as ethnic cleansing.


    There are around one million Rohingya in Burma, a Buddhist majority country. However, they are denied citizenship because the government believes that the Rohingya—even those who have lived in Myanmar for three generations—are ethnically Bengalis from Bangladesh. The Rohingya do share a similar language with Bangladesh, so Myanmar's neighbor may feel like a more welcoming option. But Bangladesh doesn't recognize or want them either. Some ministers in Myanmar have even denied the existence of the minority population. All of this has made it significantly easier to persecute an entire group of people with little international attention.


    In early October, nine border guards were killed in Rakhine State, the epicenter of violence. In retaliation, the army launched a counter-insurgency campaign, killing, raping, and maiming Rohingya across Rakhine State.


    The UN report has identified arson as a major cause of death. Testimonies collected from villages convey horrifying reports of women and children burned alive in their homes by soldiers. Numerous people claim the army deliberately set fire to homes, and, in some particularly tragic cases, set fire to buildings and then pushed people into them. Eyewitnesses report several separate instances where both non-Rohingya villagers and the army locked several families of Rohingya Muslims into buildings and set fire to them.


    One eyewitness said, "The army set fire to my house, burning my elderly mother-in-law and a sister-in-law, who was mentally disabled, alive. We were unable to carry them with us, when the military attacked the village." Another told UN officials, "The military dragged my grandmother and grandfather out of their house. First they were severely beaten, then tied to a tree. The military then put dried grass, woods around them and set them on fire."


    "Refugee accounts paint a horrific picture of an army that is out of control and rampaging through Rohingya villages. The Burmese government says its crackdown is in response to a security threat, but what security advantage could possibly be gained by raping and killing women and children?" said Brad Adams, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch.


    When international pressure reached a climax in December of last year, Myanmar's government relented and said they would look into claims of abuses. The government—led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi—set up an office run by the vice president to investigate crimes against the minority, and they found "insufficient evidence" of rape. In response, humanitarian organizations such as Human Rights Watch have slammed the investigation as "methodologically flawed." The government also claims allegations are made up.


    The testimony collected by UN officials tells a different story. "After entering our house, the army apprehended us. They pushed my mother on the ground. They removed her clothes, and four officers raped her," said one 11-year-old Rohingya girl. "They also slaughtered my father, a prayer leader, just before raping my mother. After a few minutes, they burnt the house with a rocket, with my mother inside. All this happened before my eyes."

    Many Rohingya are afraid to return to Myanmar, and those who have been able to flee the brutal crackdown are now stuck in Bangladesh, a country that cannot afford to support them because of its own development issues and food shortages.


    It's not just the army who hate the Rohingya. Buddhist monks are regularly seen protesting against the minority group and recently protested against the arrival of a ship filled with aid from Malaysia. Ye Myint Aung, the Burmese envoy in Hong Kong tried his best to make the rest of the world feel as he did about the Rohingya people. "They are as ugly as ogres," he said. They do not have the "fair and soft skin" like other people in Myanmar, he added.


    Is a whole ethnic group really being persecuted because of the texture of their skin? An expert on the Rohingya, who requested anonymity as they still travel frequently to Myanmar, explains that there is more to the conflict than just Muslim versus Buddhist. "Essentially, it boils down to money and privileges. In Burma, an ethnic minority is given privileges by the government, and the Buddhists, who are very poor in Rakhine State, do not want the Rohingya to receive these privileges. They fight against their existence and to eliminate them."


    Rape is particularly widespread in Rakhine State. Fifty-two percent of the 101 women interviewed said they had survived being raped. Survivors say they were raped by the police and other villagers, as well as the army. The UN report suggests women are raped as punishment and for interrogation purposes. "The one who raped me asked me where my husband was. I said, 'I do not know, my house burned.' He said, 'Tell the truth and we will release you. Then he beat me and raped me," said one 22- year-old woman.


    One gang rape victim was reportedly as young as 11, and there are reports of pre-adolescent children being targeted by soldiers. The military found one 11 year old and her mother alone in the house, and then the soldiers locked the mother outside and gang raped the child. "The next time the military came, there were eight to 10 of them, they were asking where my father and sisters were," the child told UN officials. "They were also saying that they were searching for people from Bangladesh. They removed all my clothes and all my mother's clothes and kicked us with their boots."


    The soldiers left, she said, but returned the next day. "This time there were seven of them. They dragged my mother outside the house and locked themselves in the room with me. I do not know if they all abused me, I lost consciousness at some point. My mother woke me up with water. I was bleeding a lot."


    The fate of the Rohingya hangs in fine balance. This week, after facing more international pressure, the government said they would look into the situation. The army have pulled out, leaving the police force in charge. But with young women and eyewitnesses claiming the police also took part in these crimes, it is possible there will be no respite for this group of persecuted people.


    * Name has been changed

    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/artic...cuted-minority

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    UN expert warns Myanmar may be trying to 'expel' all Rohingya Muslims

    The UN special rapporteur on Myanmar has expressed concern that the Southeast Asian country may be seeking to "expel" all members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community from its territory.



    Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva on Monday, Yanghee Lee warned that a full purge could be the ultimate goal of the institutional persecution and horrific violence being perpetrated against the Rohingya Muslims.


    Lee, who visited Myanmar twice in the past year, said that the country was still making Rohingyas' lives difficult by conducting a household survey and dismantling homes in the troubled Rakhine State.


    "Conducting a household survey - where those absent may be struck off the list that could be the only legal proof of their status in Myanmar - indicates the government may be trying to expel the Rohingya population from the country altogether. I sincerely hope that that is not the case."


    A four-month crackdown on the minority group has seen some 75,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to neighboring Bangladesh, where Lee said she had heard "harrowing account after harrowing account."


    "I heard allegation after allegation of horrific events like these – slitting of throats, indiscriminate shootings, setting alight houses with people tied up inside and throwing very young children into the fire, as well as gang rapes and other sexual violence,” she said.


    Elsewhere in her remarks, Lee also pushed for a high-level inquiry into abuses against the Muslim minority community.


    The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, has said treatment of the Rohingya merits a UN commission of inquiry and review by the International Criminal Court (ICC).


    Rakhine has been under a military siege since October 2016 over a raid on a police post that was blamed on the Rohingya.

    http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/0...e-Lee-Rakhine-

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    Myanmar Authorities Profiteering from the Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

    by Dr. Nazreen Nawaz - 13 November 2014

    News:

    On the 7th November, the Bangkok-based advocacy group Fortify Rights published a briefing that stated that Myanmar authorities were complicit in the trafficking and smuggling of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar's Rakhine state. They described state security forces extracting payments from Rohingya fleeing the persecution of their regime, or from traffickers operating boats offshore in exchange for passage out to sea. There are even reports of Myanmar naval boats escorting Rohingya to human trafficking ships at sea operated by criminal networks. Myanmar police, naval, or army officials can receive sums of between $500 to $600 USD per small boat containing 50-100 asylum seekers. Mathew Smith, director of Fortify Rights commented, "Not only are authorities making life so intolerable for Rohingya that they're forced to flee, but they're also profiting from the exodus.....This is a regional crisis that's worsening while Myanmar authorities are treating it like a perverse payday." The Associated Press also detailed a case where a dozen Myanmar soldiers boarded a boat filled with Rohingya in the Bay of Bengal, bludgeoned the passengers with wooden planks and iron rods, and then extorted money from them before letting them go.

    Comment:

    It is utterly sickening and heartbreaking to not only witness the continuing horrendous scale of persecution faced by our Rohingya brothers and sisters at the hands of the brutal Myanmar regime, but to also know that their suffering, and desperation has become a source of income for their oppressors. In recent weeks, there has been a huge surge in the exodus of Rohingya fleeing from their homes in the Rakhine state. According to the Arakan Project, a group that monitors Rohingya refugees, an average of 900 people a day pile into cargo ships to leave the country, and in the last 3 weeks alone, 14,500 Rohingya have sailed to Thailand with the hope of eventually reaching Malaysia. More than 100,000 Rohingya have left Myanmar by boat since June 2012 to escape the brutality of ethnic Buddhists and the regime. In fact this has been described by human rights activists as one of the largest boat exoduses in Asia since the Vietnam War. Many are detained in conditions of enslavement and exploitation by traffickers, enduring a life of abuse and torture.

    The recent increase in the exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar has been attributed in part to a rise in arrests, beatings and arbitrary detentions of these Muslims. The Myanmar government's new resettlement policy, the 'Rakhine Action Plan' has also been blamed for the increased desperation amongst Rohingya that has forced them to leave their land. This plan, that is part of the regime's ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing Muslims from its shores, requires Rohingya to prove that they and their families have lived in the country for more than 60 years. If they provide adequate proof of residency, they are offered 'naturalized' citizenship that provides fewer rights than full citizenship – and even this, only if they relinquish their identity as Rohingya and accept to be registered as Bengali. This naturally would imply they were illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh, enabling the government to renounce their citizenship and deport them at a future date if so wished. Those unable to provide evidence of their residency or who refuse to be identified as 'Bengali' could be deported or placed in camps. Human Rights Watch described the plan as "nothing less than a blue print for permanent segregation and statelessness."

    All this is happening as world leaders, including President Obama prepare to converge in Myanmar this week for the East Asia Summit, hosted this year by the Burmese government. So as Western governments feign humanitarian concern as part of their justification for their current bombing of Iraq and Syria, they are clearly more than happy to attend a conference hosted by a brutal dictatorship that is terrorizing its minorities, engaging in a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and profiteering from the mass exodus of persecuted Muslims. All these Western governments could muster are weak statements of disapproval of the Myanmar regime's actions, clearly unwilling to risk their major financial investments and strategic interests in the country. In fact, throughout this ongoing campaign of persecution against the Rohingya, the US continued to strengthen its economic ties with the country and herald the regime as its foreign policy success story due to its democratic reforms – reforms that brought nothing to the Rohingya other than further repression. This sheer hypocrisy illustrates yet again that such capitalist governments have no genuine regard for the sanctity of human life or dignity, only concern for the sanctity of the dollar. It further confirms that Muslims can never rely on the international community to solve its problems, as Allah reminds us,

    "The likeness of those who take as Auliya (protectors or helpers) other than Allah is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest of houses is the spider's house – if they but knew."
    (Quran 29:41)

    Furthermore, this deplorable state of repression suffered by our Rohingya brothers and sisters has not even evoked a whimper of a response from the rulers of the Muslim world who not only refuse to move to their aid but continue to close their borders and deny them safe sanctuary, clearly happy to watch them being terrorized by their oppressors or drown at sea. It is a reminder of the urgent need to remove these heartless regimes; and replace them with the leadership of the Khilafah that will open its borders to all persecuted Muslims, providing them dignified lives and make their oppressors taste the full military strength of the state.

    http://www.khilafah.com/index.php/an...hingya-muslims

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    We Were Raped and Tortured. We Refuse to Hide Our Faces.


    Members of the Muslim minority in Myanmar suffered unspeakable violence, then devastating rejection after fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh. Both countries’ governments would rather ignore these survivors, but they vow to have a voice.

    In January, while visiting a refugee settlement in Ukhiya Upazila, Bangladesh, I interviewed a woman whose daughter had been killed in front of her in Myanmar. Behind her, inside a hut, a group of ethnic Rohingyas – Muslims driven across the border by violence – were holding a meeting. They heard my questions and invited me in.

    Several people were inside, some of them girls as young as fourteen. The meeting organizer asked them to show their hands if they had been assaulted. Three went up.

    “He is a journalist,” she said, repeating the request. “Tell him.”

    All the hands went up.

    Then they took off their niqabs, declaring that their dignity had been taken by the Burmese army. They had been raped and tortured in front of their families and communities. Many had seen family members, including babies and young children, butchered in front of them.
    They saw no reason to hide their faces if it meant telling the world what happened to their homes and loved ones in Myanmar.

    In early January, the government of Aung San Suu Kyi took unusual action against soldiers depicted on a viral video rounding up and beating people in a Rohingya village. She detained several officers and launched an investigation into that case. But there has never been a broad investigation into the scores of more serious allegations of murder, burnings and rape of Rohingya in Rakhine state. The U.N. in February released a report detailing “devastating cruelty,” and the researcher Azeem Ibrahim dubbed the violence in his 2016 book as “Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide.”

    Now there’s a new dynamic as Rohingya flee across the border to Bangladesh, where the government refuses to grant them legal status. The women I spoke to here have been left to beg, dependent on humanitarian aid and at risk of trafficking. They will receive no psychological support for the trauma they experienced.

    Worse, already a virulent anti-Rohingya sentiment has taken hold in parts of society in southern Bangladesh. The Rohingya, it is believed, are thieves, drug traffickers and terrorists.
    Rohingya cause environmental destruction, and they run off with Bangladeshi women. The list of warrantless allegations is long. I spoke with people who believe the Rohingya must have done something to bring the Burmese wrath on themselves.

    Driving through Ukhiya, one can’t help but notice women, infants, children and elderly men sitting by the roadside. They stretch out their hands as vehicles drive past. But their presence has not engendered sympathy from the locals. Instead, it has resulted in an astonishing plan by the Bangladeshi government to relocate Rohingya refugees to a remote and uninhabitable island called Hatiya.

    “It has to be assured by taking preventive measures,” the government declared, “that they cannot spread out and mix with the locals.”

    http://narrative.ly/we-were-raped-an...ide-our-faces/

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    Up to 150 children under five die each day in Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar


    Government reforms do not reach children worst affected by conflict and poverty, says Unicef report, calling for an end to blocks on aid deliveries






    As many as 150 children die every day in Myanmar before they reach their fifth birthday, the UN children’s agency said on Tuesday, in a report calling for the government to end blocks on humanitarian access to conflict areas.

    Despite reform and reconciliation efforts undertaken by the one-year-old government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, children affected by widespread fighting and poverty are not reaping the benefits, Unicef added.

    “This alert is an opportunity to make more visible the situation of children who are not benefiting fully from the ongoing reforms in the country,” said Bertrand Bainvel, Unicef’s representative to Myanmar.

    There are disparities across the country, especially for families stuck in war zones and unable to reach health centres, said Bainvel, adding that untreated diseases among newborns, such as pneumonia, are among the big killers.

    The child mortality rate is estimated at about 50 per 1,000 live births in Myanmar, Bainvel said. In the UK, the rate is four per 1,000.

    The report calls for improved humanitarian access to the estimated 2.2 million children affected by violence, and an end to child rights violations, including the use of children as soldiers.

    Myanmar has been lauded worldwide for political reforms spearheaded by a military-aligned government in 2010, which eventually led to the huge election victory of Aung San Suu Kyi in November 2015, ending decades of oppressive army rule.

    In spite of this progress, life for many children in Myanmar remains a struggle, Unicef said. Nearly 30% of children under five suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition and more than half of all children live below the poverty line.

    The report acknowledged that an “unprecedented period of change and opportunity” was under way in the country. But, it said, “the optimism of 2015 and early 2016 has been tempered by slower than expected progress on economic and policy reforms. Even more worrisome is the escalation of several key conflicts in the country’s more remote border areas.”

    Although barred from the presidency by a military-drafted constitution, Aung San Suu Kyi is the de facto head of state, working as state counsellor and running several ministries.

    The former prisoner of conscience promised to first focus on national reconciliation, yet the country – one of south-east Asia’s poorest – remains entangled in brutal conflicts along its borders, with the army blocking aid deliveries.

    Remote Kachin, Shan and Kayin states continue to experience recurrent clashes between the Myanmar military and ethnic minorities. Civilians find themselves at risk from poverty, statelessness and trafficking, while having only limited access to essential health and education services, Unicef said.

    In western Rakhine state, 120,000 internally displaced people live in camps as a result of inter-communal conflict that erupted in 2012. Violence against Rohingya Muslims, for whom the government does not provide full citizenship rights, has surged since October following attacks on border guard posts.

    Unicef’s representative said aid access to Rakhine had improved slightly but remained very problematic.

    “But when it comes to Kachin and northern Shan, access has been denied to us for almost a year, in spite of our requests … it is denied by the government,” Bainvel added.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991, has been criticised by more than a dozen fellow laureates, who wrote an open letter to the UN security council in December warning of a tragedy “amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” in Rakhine state.

    Unicef said the laying of landmines by all parties to the conflicts must end, and mine clearance work should start wherever possible. One out of every three victims of landmines is a child, the report said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...-unicef-report


 

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