Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship by the state and have suffered years of persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, have been forced to flee the country in the past fortnight following a brutal crackdown the government describes as a “cleansing operation.”
Myanmar’s government has laid a siege to a western state where the Rohingya are concentrated. There, horrific violence has been taking place against the minority Muslims, according to reports and eyewitnesses.
Soldiers and extremist Buddhists have reportedly been killing or raping the Muslims and setting their homes on fire. The Myanmarese government says 400 people, mostly Muslims, have died in the latest bout of violence. The UN says the actual number likely tops 1,000.
Speaking to IQNA, Azeri analyst Kanaan Roshanughlu said that during the British colonial rule in different parts of the world in the 19th century, borderlines among countries and nations were not drawn clearly and this led to disputes and clashes later on.
This also is the case about crises in places like Kashmir, Iraq and elsewhere, he said.
Roshanughlu added that another reason behind the Myanmarese regime’s brutal crackdown on Muslims in Rakhine is that energy pipelines pass through the state and there are plans for implementing several economic projects there.
As for Rohingya Muslims’ resorting to arms to defend themselves, he said it would only serve the government because it can then portray the Rohingya as terrorists.
Asked about the Muslim world’s role in defending the rights of the Muslim minority, Roshanughlu said the main priority should be drawing the world attention to the plight of the oppressed Rohingya.
Next, he said, there should be talks with UN Security Council members to exert pressure on the government of Myanmar to stop the massacre of Muslims.
The Azeri analyst also suggested that the UN send peace-keeping missions to the Southeast Asian country to put an end to the killings and violence.
Regarding the role of Bangladesh, Myanmar’s neighbor, in helping the Rohingya Muslims who flee persecution and violence in Myanmar, he said Bangladesh is a poor country suffering from an economic crisis.
Thus, Roshanughlu said, other countries, especially Muslim states, should play a more active role in this regard.
He added that supplying the needs of some 300,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh would not be that difficult for Muslim countries.
He regretted that, except some speeches, no real measure was taken by Muslim countries during a recent session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the Kazakh capital of Astana.