Rohingya Refugees Agree Move to Bangladesh Island

Rohingya refugee girls carry metal pitchers with water at Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, September 13, 2017

Thousands of Rohingya living in Bangladesh refugee camps have agreed to move to an island in the Bay of Bengal, officials said Sunday, despite fears the site is prone to flooding.

Dhaka has long wanted to move 100,000 refugees to the muddy silt islet, saying it would take pressure off the overcrowded border camps where almost a million Rohingya live.

Some 740,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in August 2017 in the face of a military crackdown, joining 200,000 refugees already in makeshift tent settlements at Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner, Mahbub Alam, said officials overseeing the relocation would be posted to Bhashan Char island in the next few days.

“Approximately 6,000-7,000 refugees have already expressed their willingness to be relocated to Bhashan Char,” Alam told AFP from Cox’s Bazar, adding that “the number is rising”.

He did not say when the refugees would be moved, but a senior Navy officer involved in building facilities on the island said it could start by December, with some 500 refugees sent daily.

Bangladesh had been planning since last year to relocate Rohingya to the desolate flood-prone site, which is an hour by boat from the mainland.

Rights groups have warned the island, which emerged from the sea only about two decades ago, might not be able to withstand violent storms during the annual monsoon season.

In the past half a century, powerful cyclones have killed hundreds of thousands of people in the Meghna river estuary where the island is located.

Rohingya leaders would be taken to Bhashan Char to view the facilities and living conditions, Alam said.

Safety facilities built on the island include a nine-feet (three-meter) high embankment along its perimeter to keep out tidal surges during cyclones, and a warehouse to store months-worth of rations, he added.

Rohingya father-of-four Nur Hossain, 50, said he and his family agreed to relocate to Bhashan Char after they were shown video footage of the shelters.

“I have agreed to go. The camp here (at Leda) is very overcrowded. There are food and housing problems,” the 50-year-old told AFP.

There was no immediate comment from the UN, although Bangladeshi officials said they expect a delegation would visit the island in the next few weeks.

(Source / 20.10.2019) 

Bangladesh tells Rohingya refugees they may lose food ration if stay

Young Rohingya Muslim refugees collect drinking water at Kutupalong refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia on January 8, 2018.  (Photo by AFP)

Young Rohingya Muslim refugees collect drinking water at Kutupalong refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia on January 8, 2018

Tension mounts at refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh, where thousands of persecuted Rohingya Muslims are expected to be repatriated to Myanmar, after Bangladesh threatened to cut their food ration if they do not leave the country.

Chanting slogans and holding banners, dozens of refugees protested over the weekend their transfer to Myanmar, where they have faced a bloody crackdown by the military and extremist Buddhists.

United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee visited a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh’s coastal town of Cox’s Bazar on Saturday. Lee talked with refugees and listened to their accounts of violence carried out against them allegedly by Myanmar’s army.

Rohingya elders say Bangladeshi army officials have asked them to prepare lists of families from their camps for repatriation. Four of them said they were among more than 70 leaders who met army officers at Gungdum camp on Saturday.

Musa, a Rohingya refugee leader, said Bangladeshi army officials had threatened to seize their food ration cards if they did not return.

“When we said we cannot provide the lists because people are not ready to return, they asked us to bring their WP cards,” said Musa, referring to relief cards provided by the UN’s World Food Programme.

Rashedul Hasan, a spokesman for the Bangladeshi army, however, said he was not aware of army men threatening to take away the food cards.

Hundreds of refugees queue up at relief centers in the camps every morning to collect food using the cards. These centers are managed by the Bangladeshi army.

Caroline Gluck, a senior protection officer for the UN refugee agency, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had repeatedly said the return of the Rohingya needed to be voluntary.

“UNHCR has not been part of discussions (on repatriation) to date, but has offered support to engage in the process to ensure that the voices of refugees are heard,” Gluck said on Saturday, adding, “The pace of returns should be determined by the refugees themselves.”

Yanghee Lee (2nd L), the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, visits a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar on January 20, 2018

Bangladesh and Myanmar last week finalized an agreement that would facilitate the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees over the next two years.

The refugees refuse to go back unless their safety can be guaranteed and Myanmar heeds their demands for citizenship and inclusion in a list of recognized ethnic minorities.

The UN says nearly 655,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the state of Rakhine for Bangladesh since violence intensified last August.

Since August 25, 2017, Myanmar’s troops have been committing killings and rapes, making arbitrary arrests, and carrying out mass arson attacks to destroy houses in Rakhine.

Only in its first month, the military clampdown killed some 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including more than 700 children, according to the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders.

(Source / 21.01.2018)

‘The world is creating another Palestine’

[left to right] Bouzid Chenouf, Yvonne Ridley, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Yousef Adjissa & Mamdooh Kamal Ali Badawi

[left to right] Bouzid Chenouf, Yvonne Ridley, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Yousef Adjissa & Mamdooh Kamal Ali Badawi

By Yvonne Ridley

The international community must act swiftly on the Rohingya crisis or the world will create another Palestine. That was the stark warning issued by a delegation from the Middle East in a meeting with the Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament on Tuesday. The members of the delegation included representatives of a major charity and Algerian politicians.

Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury sat and listened intently as Palestinian Mamdooh Kamal Ali Badawi, the Chairman of the International Relief Organisation (IRO), and Algerian MP Youcef Adjissa expressed their fears. Adjissa is also a member of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States (PUOIC).

The IRO was the first Arab charity on the ground in Cox’s Bazar when tens of thousands of refugees fled into neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the ethnic cleansing and genocide at the hands of the military in Myanmar.

“What I saw reminded me of Palestine,” said Badawi, whose family is from Gaza, but now has German citizenship. “There are many parallels, but at least those in the camps at Cox’s Bazar are safe from continued persecution.” Unlike, he pointed out, Palestinian refugees who are still being brutalised and oppressed today. “However, unless the international community acts swiftly the situation could turn into another intractable situation, which has been allowed to happen to the Palestinians.”

The Algerian MP nodded his agreement. “I am afraid that if this issue with the Rohingya people is not resolved soon it will indeed turn into a crisis like Palestine,” he told Chaudhury.

The world must act quickly to prevent this happening.

Read: The child who knows too much about cruelty in this world

Adjissa noted that, today, we see Palestinians scattered around the world as well as in the refugee camps in the Middle East because the world did not react to the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) when Israel was created in their land. “This must not be allowed to happen for the Rohingya,” added the MP, who is in Dhaka to establish a cross-party parliamentary friendship committee with the Bangladeshi Parliament.

Chaudhury responded by saying that it is important to resolve the situation quickly. She also expressed an interest in the legal initiative taken by IRO in which scores of Rohingya refugees have given sworn statements about the persecution they witnessed and endured. IRO has supported an all-women team of lawyers from Protect the Rohingya NGO, who are tasked with collecting sworn affidavits from refugees with a view to prosecuting the perpetrators of the violence in Myanmar.

Some of the evidence that the survivors have given already has been harrowing. This is especially true of those who have witnessed wholesale slaughter, rape and brutality at the hands of the military as they fled from their villages near the border with Bangladesh.

“The groundwork we have established should help form the basis of legal action anywhere in the world against those who committed these war crimes,” explained Badawi, adding:

“Under universal jurisdiction these statements should prove invaluable. Giving aid is not just about medicines and nourishment; it is also important to document war crimes and try to deliver justice on behalf of the victims.

(Source / 27.12.2017)

Turkey to build field hospital for Rohingya in Bangladesh

Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim (C) gathers with Rohingya refugees during his visit to camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on 20 December 2017. [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]

Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim (C) gathers with Rohingya refugees during his visit to camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on 20 December 2017

Turkey will build a field hospital for Rohingya refugees near the city of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) will be responsible for the construction of the hospital.

Expected to become a shelter for Rohingya refugees, the field hospital will provide its services both to those who have arrived to the area with ailments or those who have got sick after their arrival.

The hospital covers an area of ​​about 1,000 square metres and consists of eight separate tents with a capacity of 50 beds. It will include an intensive care unit, a maternity ward, a general surgery section, paediatric and orthopaedic departments and a laboratory.

The construction process is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Read: #SolidarityWithKarim: The Syrian baby without an eye

Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, is expected to visit the site of the hospital today during his tour of the Rohingya refugee camps in the area.

Yildirim arrived in Bangladesh on Monday on a two-day visit.

Myanmar’s army and extremist Buddhist militias have committed crimes, attacks and brutal massacres against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

According to the UN data, thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been killed and some 826,000 have fled to Bangladesh.

(Source / 20.12.2017)

‘The military plan to wipe out all Muslims in Myanmar’

Arafatul Islam, multimedia journalist and blogger at Deutsche Welle

“This village is a Muslim-free zone,” reads a sign hanging at the entrance to a village in an area of Myanmar outside Rakhine state. The orders are directed at the country’s Rohingya population, an ethnic group of around 1.3 million that live mainly in Rakhine and who have been described as the “world’s most persecuted minority”.

It’s not difficult to see why. Since 1992 the Burmese government has imposed heavy restrictions on the Rohingyas. If they want to travel from one town to the other they have to pass immigration checkpoints and to do so the administration must grant them permission.

Because requests are regularly turned down the Rohingyas have become isolated within their own country:

“They’ve kept us in an open air prison for more than 25 years. Since 1978 they are propagating and they are brain washing the public that these people are invading the country, that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh,” says Nay San Lwin, an activist and blogger who has adopted the prefix “Ro” on social media to identify himself as Rohingya.

“This is our own native land,” he continues. “We gave them an open channel to debate with us but nobody dares to debate with us because they know they are lying.”

“We entered the Rakhine land before the seventh century, then the Rakhine Buddhists invaded us in the eleventh century. Those living in the southern part were driven out from the southern side to the northern side. [Then they said] these people are invading our country from the northern side. It’s similar to Israel and Palestine’s history, as we know Palestinians became like the immigrants.”

As Muslims the Rohingya already live in a majority Buddhist country but the military, says San Lwin, want Myanmar to be “pure Buddhist”. To achieve this they stoke tension between the Buddhists and Muslims and try and force the Rohingya to flee:

“Rakhine has two or three insurgency groups fighting for the land. The Burmese government always creates communal problems and keeps them busy so they are always fighting with the Muslims and they have no time to fight with the Burmese government.”

Read more: Despite allegation of genocide Israel refuses to stop arms sales to Myanmar

In addition to this Rohingyas are barred from entering certain professions; they are discriminated against in the education system, in health services and when they are practicing their religion.

When Myanmar won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 the Rohingya were recognised as an official ethnic group and enjoyed full citizenship rights. But in 1974 the government launched operation Jasmine and took away their citizenship and national registration cards.

After it had effectively rendered them stateless some 270,000 Rohingyas fled the country. Under the 1982 citizenship law the government asked everybody to apply for a new citizenship card, many of which were refused on the basis that Myanmar did not recognise them as one of its 135 ethnic groups.

In 2001 San Lwin left Myanmar legally to work in Saudi Arabia because back then his parents were officials of the state and had citizenship. But eventually the embassy stopped renewing his passport, he became stateless, and he migrated to Europe.

A particularly vicious wave of violence against the Rohingya began in August this year when the military launched an “anti-terror” operation, beating, raping, shooting and torturing Rohingyas and burning down their villages.

If you count the Rohingyas who have previously fled the country, there are now roughly 800,000 who are seeking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. Videos posted on social media capture hundreds of Rohingyas walking through mud and water barefoot, their possessions gathered in bundles on their back.

Read: Protest against ‘genocide’ in Myanmar

Much of the anger has been directed at Myanamar’s de facto leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has failed to condemn the army’s abuses and has instead labelled the Rohingya terrorists, argued that the military are victims of a misinformation campaign and even accused women of reporting fake rapes.

Suu Kyi seems to be indifferent to her long fall from grace. Over 400,000 people have signed an online petition to strip her of her peace prize, led by those who campaigned for her release in the late eighties when she was held under house arrest for her efforts to bring democracy to a country living under a military dictatorship and was consequently revered as a symbol of peace.

“She was my hero too in the past,” San Lwin tells me. “We supported her, all Rohingya supported her; our expectation was that the Rohingya’s situation would change if she got into power. But sadly the opposite is happening. We did many campaigns when she was under house arrest – demonstrations in UK and France, online petitions, we celebrated her birthday.”

When Suu Kyi founded the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in 1988 many Rohingyas joined her party in northern Rakhine state, San Lwin tells me. In the 1990 election four candidates from northern Rakhine stood but they didn’t win mainly because the Rohingyas had their own political party.

“All the Rohingya members got their identity cards from the party and on those cards the Rohingya name was clearly mentioned. Now all those party members are denied their existence,” he says.

Burmese stateswoman, Aung San Suu Kyi

Between 1948 and 2015 Rohingyas enjoyed their full voting rights and were elected into parliament. Whilst Suu Kyi was under house arrest one of the founders of the NLD branch in Buthidaung Township, U Kyaw Maung, was arrested repeatedly by military intelligence and tortured to death for refusing to resign from the party.

San Lwin doesn’t think there are any Rohingya left who still support Suu Kyi: “She never took the side of the Rohingya people or the other ethnic minorities. She doesn’t want to lose her position because she struggled for many, many years to get this position, that’s the reason she’s not condemning [the violence]. On the other hand she’s taken the side of the military, which means she’s against us. Also she’s denying our existence.”

Read more: The Rohingya are the victims of state terrorism it must be stopped

On the whole, news coverage in the West of the latest atrocities have been pretty accurate, reckons San Lwin. However India – where Islamophobia is rising and hate crimes against Muslims are increasing – is pumping out a lot of fake news whilst China is simply a propaganda machine for the [Myanmar] government, says San Lwin.

Officially, the Myanmar government is not allowing any reporters – or unofficially any aid – into Rakhine state but earlier this week the Chinese media visited the area. “One of the reasons they are burning all the houses and clearing the land is they have an agreement with China,” says San Lwin.

The $10 billion Kyauk Pyu Special Economic Zone Project agreed between China and Myanmar will see oil and gas pipes built in Rakhine state and has been criticised by activists who question whose land will be appropriated for construction to begin, and where the people living there will go.

San Lwin believes that the main reason behind all this violence is not necessarily this project. Neither is it the physical appearance of the Rohingya, nor their ethnic group or the language they speak. The problem, says San Lwin, is their religion.

Read: ‘Myanmar’s Suu Kyi’s Noble Prize cannot be revoked’

Ethnic groups such as the Dainet or the Marmagyi share the Rohingyas physical appearance, language, tradition and culture yet are not Muslims, so they are recognised as official ethnic groups and have been granted full citizenship rights. Other Muslims in the country, says San Lwin, are also suffering:

“[The military] have a plan to wipe out all the Muslims in the country. This is the long-term plan. In 20 years, after they have cleared all the Rohingya population, there will be other ethnic cleansing of the other Muslim minorities in the country.”

(Source / 29.09.2017)

Despite Suu Kyi’s claims, army still burning Muslim villages: Amnesty

Rohingya refugee children sit next to makeshift shelters at the refugee camp of Balukhali near the locality of Ukhia, Bangladesh, on September 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Rohingya refugee children sit next to makeshift shelters at the refugee camp of Balukhali near the locality of Ukhia, Bangladesh, on September 22, 2017.  

Amnesty International says Myanmar’s military and vigilante Buddhist mobs continue to set fire to Rohingya Muslim villages in Rakhine State, contradicting claims by de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi that army operations have ended there.

In a report on Friday, Amnesty said newly-captured satellite images and videos from the troubled state show smoke rising from Muslim-populated villages, providing further evidence that challenges Suu Kyi’s claims.

Officials in Myanmar appear set to make sure the Rohingya Muslims who fled the violence in their villages will “have no home to return to,” the report said.

“This damning evidence from the ground and from space flies in the face of Aung San Suu Kyi’s assertions to the world that what she called military ‘clearance operations’ in Rakhine State ended on 5 September,” said Tirana Hasan, the director of Crisis Response  at Amnesty.

The report added, “Rohingya homes and villages continue to burn, before, during and after their inhabitants take flight in terror. Not satisfied with simply forcing Rohingya from their homes, authorities seem intent on ensuring they have no homes to return to.”

On August 25, the Myanmar military used a series of attacks on police and army posts in Rakhine as a pretext to unleash yet another deadly clampdown on the Muslim minority there. The violence has forced nearly 430,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

According to numerous reports by rights groups and witnesses, Myanmar military forces, along with majority Buddhists, have been randomly shooting at Muslims and raping them. They have also been setting fire to Muslim villages and planting landmines on the path of those fleeing.

Under international pressure, Suu Kyi finally broke her silence on Tuesday only to justify the brutal army crackdown against Rohingya Muslims.

Despite all the reports and eyewitness accounts, Suu Kyi said she did not know why the Muslims were fleeing. She refused to single out the military in the crackdown and only condemned “all human rights violations” in Rakhine.

She even refused to refer to the persecuted Muslims by their name Rohingya, pointing to her government’s official position of not recognizing them as nationals.

Suu Kyi’s comments sparked even more international criticisms, with Amnesty saying Myanmar’s leader and government are “burying their heads in sand” in the face of the reports on the military’s brutalities, which the UN and may rights groups have branded as an “ethnic cleansing” campaign against Muslims.

On the Bangladeshi side on the border, most of the Rohingya refugees have arrived in the already overcrowded camps in the Cox’s Bazar town, where they are suffering from starvation and have no access to clean water.

“The situation in the camps is so incredibly fragile, especially with regard to shelter, food and water, and sanitation, that one small event could lead to an outbreak that may be the tipping point between a crisis and a catastrophe,” emergency coordinator of the medical relief agency Doctors without Borders, Robert Onus, said in a statement.

“Hundreds of thousands of refugees are living in an extremely precarious situation, and all the preconditions for a public health disaster are there,” added the statement, calling for a “massive step-up of humanitarian aid.”

Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stretch their arms out to collect rice bags distributed by aid workers near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh, September 22, 2017.  

Additionally, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which has censured Myanmar’s use of anti-personnel mines along its border with Bangladesh, said the Rohingya refugees are risking their lives to cross the border into Bangladesh.

“According to eyewitness accounts, photographic evidence, and multiple reports, antipersonnel mines have been laid between Myanmar’s two major land crossings with Bangladesh, resulting in casualties among Rohingya refugees fleeing government attacks on their homes,” the ICBL said in the statement on Friday.

It demanded that Myanmar immediately cease using such weapons and accede to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, to which 162 other nations are parties.

Earlier reports by Amnesty and Bangladeshi officials had said the mines planted by government forces have caused many refugees to sustain serious wounds or lose their body organs.

(Source / 24.09.2017)

Turkey to build shelters for 100,000 Rohingya

Since August 25, more than 429,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh

Turkey would build shelters for 100,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, an official of Turkey’s state-run aid body said on Sunday.

According to a press release, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA) Bangladesh Coordinator Ahmet Refik Cetinkaya held a meeting with Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.

“Turkey will soon provide 10,000 packets of aid [to Rohingya Muslims],” Cetinkaya told the minister.

He said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag would visit Bangladesh.

Since August 25, more than 429,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN’s migration agency. In total, more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees are now believed to be in Bangladesh, including the arrivals since August 25.

Read: Turkey’s first lady distributes aid at Rohingya camp

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue with the UN.

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

Yvonne Ridley: Looking at Myanmar, it is clear that the ICC is not fit for purpose

(Source / 24.09.2017)

Hundreds of Rohingya families receive Palestinian-funded aid

Help for Rohingya's

More than 1,400 Rohingya refugee families in Bangladesh on Sunday received humanitarian aid funded by Palestinian donations.

According to Anadolu news agency, the aid was distributed in the border refugee camp of Balu Kali in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar by the Turkish charity, Sadaka Tasi, and the Friends of the Kind Hearted Society (Palestinian group).

400 Rohingya families benefited from food aid and over 1,000 received cash assistance.

Balu Kali is one of the largest camps that host thousands of Rohingya Muslims after they fled genocide at the hands of Myanmar’s Buddhist groups and soldiers.

(Source / 18.09.2017)

Bangladesh Starts Immunization of Rohingya Refugees amid Health Fears


Rohingya refugees arrive near the a makeshift refugee camp Bangladesh

Authorities in Bangladesh kicked off on Sunday an immunization campaign among Muslim Rohingya refugees as an aid group warned that many could die due to a lack of food, shelter and water.

The campaign started in a crowded border camp as the country struggled to take in more than 400,000 Rohingya, who have fled Myanmar in the last three weeks where they were victims of a government crackdown.

The UN has since described the crisis as ethnic cleansing.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who lambasted Myanmar for “atrocities” during a visit to border camps last week, left Dhaka to address the annual UN gathering in New York.

Abdus Salam, the top government administrator in the Cox’s Bazar district hospital, said that some 150,000 children will be immunized over seven days for measles, rubella and polio. UN says there are some 240,000 children living in dire conditions.

“There are a lot of weak and malnourished children among the new arrivals,” UNICEF representative in Bangladesh, Edouard Beigbeder, said in an email. “If proper preventive measures are not taken, highly infectious diseases, especially measles, could even cause an outbreak.”

On the first day of the immunization campaign on Saturday, doctors treated some 9,000 children for rubella and nearly 5,000 for polio. Salam said that basic and emergency health services were being provided through 36 medical camps with focus on children and women.

“Many of them are suffering from diarrhea, dehydration and skin diseases. They are coming to hospitals with such complications,” he said.

As the weather fluctuates in Cox’s Bazar between rains and sunny and humid days, many children are suffering from flu and risk pneumonia, he said.

Two preexisting Rohingya camps were already beyond capacity and the new arrivals were staying in schools or huddling in makeshift settlements with no toilets along roadsides and in open fields.

The refugees began pouring from Myanmar’s Rakhine state after a Rohingya insurgent group launched attacks on security posts August 25, prompting Myanmar’s military to launch “clearance operations” to root out the rebels. Those fleeing have described indiscriminate attacks by security forces and Buddhist mobs.

The Myanmar government says hundreds have died, mostly “terrorists,” and that 176 out of 471 Rohingya villages have been abandoned. Myanmar has insisted that Rohingya insurgents and fleeing villagers themselves are destroying own homes. It has offered no proof to back these charges.

In a state hospital, a Rohingya man who identified himself as Rahmatullah was looking over his 10-year-old son recovering from a bullet that left a deep wound as it pierced his right leg.

“Why did they shoot him? What’s his crime? He is just a child,” Rahmatullah said. “It was 9 in the morning and I was visiting my neighbor’s home at my Baagguna village when they came and started shooting indiscriminately.” He said he fled with 10 of his family members.

“I started running for the hill, where I hid myself and later collected my son and others and left,” he said.

Eric P. Schwartz, head of the US-based charity Refugees International and a former assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, said he couldn’t recall seeing so much misery in the camps and called for international pressure on Myanmar to stop the violence.

He said the US should re-impose sanctions on Myanmar that were in place before it made transition from military to civilian rule. But officials in Washington have been careful not to undermine the weak civilian government of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, which took office last year, ending five decades of ruinous army rule. The military remains politically powerful and oversees security operations.

Suu Kyi is due to make her first address to the nation on the crisis on Tuesday.

Mark Pierce, Bangladesh country director for the Save the Children aid agency said in a statement: “Many people are arriving hungry, exhausted and with no food or water.”

“I’m particularly worried that the demand for food, shelter, water and basic hygiene support is not being met due to the sheer number of people in need. If families can’t meet their basic needs, the suffering will get even worse and lives could be lost.”

Pierce said the humanitarian response needed to be rapidly scaled up.

Bangladesh border guards said on Sunday the flow of refugees leaving Myanmar had eased off over the past day, apparently because bad weather had discouraged people from taking to boats to reach Bangladesh.

Human Rights Watch said satellite imagery showed 62 Rohingya villages had been torched since the violence erupted.

(Source / 17.09.2017)

Hamas deplores Myanmar’s crimes against Rohingya Muslims

Hamas and Rohingya Muslims

The Hamas Movement has strongly denounced the gross violations that are being committed by the Myanmarese regime against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

“We strongly condemn the ongoing crimes against the Rohingya Muslims as we are following with great pain and dismay the displacement and genocide which they are being exposed to, amid international silence and Arab and Islamic impotence,” senior Hamas official Izzat al-Resheq stated on his Twitter page on Monday.

“The terrorism, mass killing and displacement which the Muslim minority in Myanmar is being exposed to have gone beyond any description and cannot be tolerated,” Resheq added.

The Hamas official also expressed his Movement’s support for the diplomatic efforts being made by Turkish president Recep Erdogan to highlight the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims and advocate their cause.

(Source / 05.09.2017)