Rohingya's protest for 'justice' on crackdown anniversary

Casey GreeneAug 28, 2018

An army crackdown last August saw 700,000 of the persecuted minority flee over the border to one of the world s largest refugee camps in violence the United Nations and USA have likened to ethnic cleansing.

According to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), at least 6,700 Rohingya, including at least 730 children under the age of five, were killed in the first month after the violence broke out. A number of Rohingya refugees fled the country on foot or by boat to neighbouring countries. Months after the initial offensive, she said, the security forces frequently patrolled her village and sometimes arrested Rohingya men or grabbed them to do unpaid work at an expanding military camp nearby.

Columns of people marching through the camp on Saturday waved banners and chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great). 'They slaughtered my husband in front of my eyes - I can't explain to you the feeling I get when I think of that moment.

"I am afraid that if we are sent back to Burma, they will kill us", Begum said.

The biggest challenge is the need to further scale up services to meet the complex, evolving and long term health needs of this highly vulnerable population amidst a funding shortfall that also threatens to undo the gains and progress made so far. "It is a black day", he told AFP.

The Rohingya exodus has threatened Myanmar's tense transition to democracy and shattered the image of its leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, outside the country. "The danger of terrorist activities, which was the initial cause of events leading to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine remains real and present today", she said in a lecture in Singapore.

On the occasion of the last ad limina visit of the members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), the pontiff told Card Bo that he intends to organise an global conference on the Rohingya.

"We are here do not forget to August 25".

"We urgently need more help to continue delivering lifesaving assistance to ensure that the Rohingyas, who rely entirely on aid, do not face new risks", Tripura said.

The Rohingya were stripped of their citizenship decades ago by Myanmar and have been chased from the country in successive convulsions of violence. He explained that more than a million Rohingya now eke out a marginal existence and living in abject poverty in southeastern Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district.

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by the Myanmar army and police. The report said the global community should invest in supporting quality education and life-skills for all Rohingya children, especially girls and adolescents who it says are at risk of being excluded.

At a mass prayer rally, one speaker repeatedly shouted: "Who are we?" to which the crowd responded in chorus: "Rohingya, Rohingya".

The Red Cross chief called for urgent "sustainable solutions" for "safe, dignified and voluntary returns as soon as possible".

In April this year, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the World Bank Group's president, Jim Yong Kim, visited Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Myanmar says it is ready and willing to repatriate the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh since past year.

"Their situation in Bangladesh would not be as challenging or risky as it is if they were recognised as refugees", Kolovos said.

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