SHAFAQNA – A chorus of international criticism aimed at Myanmar is growing over the violence against Rohingya Muslims.
Nearly 90,000 Rohingya have flooded into Bangladesh in the past 10 days following an uptick in fighting between fighters and Myanmar’s military in the strife-torn western Rakhine state.
The Rohingya have been forced to live under apartheid-like restrictions on movement and citizenship.
Myanmar army denies reports of Rohingya atrocities
The latest wave of violence, which first began last October when a small Rohingya fighter group ambushed border posts, is the worst Rakhine has witnessed in years, with the UN saying Myanmar’s army may have committed ethnic cleansing in its response.
Aung San Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner of Myanmar’s military rulers, has come under increasing fire over her perceived unwillingness to speak out against the treatment of the Rohingya or chastise the military.
She has made no public comment since the latest fighting broke out on August 25.
Only international pressure can save Rohingya now
Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, expressed concern earlier this week that “many thousands of people are increasingly at risk of grave violations of their human rights”.
On Monday, she was quoted by Indian media as saying the current situation is “perhaps the worst … in Myanmar in a long time”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also urged restraint by Myanmar security forces, a spokesman said in a statement.
“The current situation underlines the urgency of seeking holistic approaches to address the complex root causes of violence,” spokesman Eri Kaneko said.
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani Nobel peace laureate, echoed the UN official’s condemnation over the issue in a statement on Twitter.
“Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,” Yousafzai, who famously survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, said.
“Over the last several years I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same,” she added.