UNICEF brings aid to Rohingya children in Bangladesh

Joy Montgomery
September 27, 2017

"Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for thousands of years".

Mass graves of dozens of slain Hindus have been found in Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state, according to government officials. We will do everything to prevent ethnic cleansing and genocide. The worldwide community in consultation with the Myanmar government should find a permanent solution for the Rohingyas identity crisis, settlement rights and their issue of citizenship for the long-term solution of this ongoing crisis that requires an immediate global response.

Ever since the latest flare-up of violence against the community in Myanmar this year, almost 4 lakh Rohingyas have fled the state, pouring into nearby countries like Bangladesh seeking refuge.

Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) executive director U Kyaw Win said disenfranchised Muslims in Myanmar signing up for terrorist groups could undo all the work that the global community has put in to advocate for their plight.

The Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

"This afternoon, a suspicious place was found about 400 meters northeast of the mass grave where the remains of Hindus were found yesterday", the army said in a statement.

If critical life-saving assistance is not delivered in a strategic and orderly manner to the unprecedented population of Rohingya refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh, the threat of death from malnutrition, diseases like cholera and measles, frustration-driven rioting and escalating levels of sex and gender-based violence will see this crisis become a catastrophe, UNICEF Australia said today.

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The experts also expressed their alarm at the Myanmar government's "acquiescence in incitement of hatred and apparent and the condoning of intimidation and attacks against Rohingya families by other ethnic and religious groups".

Speaking to media on Saturday, Minister Bathiudeen said that the social media reports have published false accusations that he is taking measures to settle Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka. The army said the security forces and Hindu community leaders would continue the search.

The violence in Rakhine State and the refugee exodus is the biggest crisis the government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has faced since it came to power last year in a transition from almost 50 years of military rule. The state news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported that Beijing on Monday assured Dhaka that it will provide help in finding a permanent solution.

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

They have been denied citizenship and are stateless.

This distressed situation has added Myanmar among countries which justify their discriminatory and violent attitude towards Muslims in the name of retaliation against Islamic radicals, extremists and terrorists.

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