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The Rohingya Issue

Discussion in 'All Non Military Discussion' started by ~Phoenix~, Dec 9, 2016.


  1. ~Phoenix~ Bangladesh

    ~Phoenix~ Mi Captain MI.Net Member

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    Taking Refugee In Bangladesh, Rohingya Muslims Describe Rape, Murder In Myanmar
    By Julhas Alam | Associated Press
    | December 5, 2016

    [​IMG]
    Mohsena Begum, a Rohingya who escaped to Bangladesh from Myanmar, holds her child and sits at the entrance of a room of an unregistered refugee camp in Teknaf, near Cox’s Bazar, a southern coastal district about, 296 kilometers (183 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dec. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh — The Myanmar soldiers came in the morning, the young mother says. They set fire to the concrete-and-thatch homes, forcing the villagers to cluster together. When some of her neighbors tried to escape into the fields, they were shot. After that, she says, most people stopped running away.

    “They drove us out of our houses, men and women in separate lines, ordering us to keep our hands folded on the back of our heads,” says 20-year-old Mohsena Begum, her voice choking as she described what happened to the little village of Caira Fara, which had long been home to hundreds of members of Myanmar’s minority Rohingya community. She said that when about 50 people had been gathered together, the soldiers, along with a group of local men, pulled four village leaders from the crowd and slit their throats.

    Muslims in an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, the Rohingya have long faced persecution in Myanmar, where most are denied citizenship. The latest outbreak of violence was triggered by October attacks on guard posts near the Bangladesh border that killed nine police officers. While the attackers’ identities and motives are unclear, the government launched a massive counter-insurgency sweep through Rohingya areas in western Rakhine state. Most Rohingya live in Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh.

    The government, which has implied the attacks were carried out by Rohingya sympathizers, has acknowledged using helicopter gunships in support of ground troops in the sweep. While survivors and human rights groups have tracked waves of anti-Rohingya violence in recent weeks, the Myanmar government insists that stories like Begum’s are exaggerations.

    Myanmar’s leader, the Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has accused the international community of stoking unrest.

    [​IMG]
    A portrait of Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi with her mouth covered with a sandal displayed on a mobile phone screen is shown by a protester during a demonstration in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 against the murder, displacement and persecution of Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    “It doesn’t help if everybody is just concentrating on the negative side of the situation, in spite of the fact that there were attacks on police outposts,” she said in a recent interview on Singapore’s Channel News Asia.

    Suu Kyi, whose party took power in March after decades of military-backed rule, has been accused of not acting strongly enough to curb the violence against the more than 1 million Rohingya believed to be in the country. Although many have lived in Rakhine for generations, they are widely seen as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

    “It helps if people recognize the difficulty and are more focused on resolving these difficulties rather than exaggerating them, so that everything seems worse than it really is,” she said in the interview.

    But Begum says she has no need to exaggerate what happened in Caira Fara.

    She said that after the four leaders were killed, violence churned through the village in chaotic scenes of horror. Begum’s husband, a poor, illiterate farm laborer, was beaten and then murdered by having his throat slit, along with an unknown number of other villagers, she said. Their bodies were eventually driven away in a truck.

    She said attackers knocked her young son knocked from her grasp, then raped her.

    Finally, when the soldiers weren’t paying attention, she grabbed her son and ran into the nearby hills. After hiding for two days, her brother gave her enough money — about $38 — to pay smugglers to get her and her son into Bangladesh.

    When Bangladeshi border guards stopped them, she began to weep.

    “I told them I have no one to protect me there,” she says, and told them: “‘Look at my baby! He will die if I go back there.'” After that, they let her pass.

    Much of Rakhine has been closed to outsiders, including journalists, since the violence began. However, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, leader of a commission formed to investigate the situation in Rakhine state, was allowed to visit in recent days. He is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.

    Along the banks of the Naf River, which marks the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, it’s not difficult to find people who can talk about what is happening.

    Some 15,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh over past month, often brought in by smugglers, according to police and intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the government refuses to release numbers publicly. They have joined up to 500,000 undocumented Rohingya who have been living in Bangladesh after arriving from Myanmar in waves since the 1970s. Some 33,000 registered Rohingya refugees live the Cox’s Bazar district. Bangladesh does not welcome Rohingya — its maritime patrols sometimes turn back refugee boats full of them — but it is seen as a haven compared to Myanmar.

    [​IMG]
    In this Dec. 4, 2016 photo, Osman Gani, a Rohingya man from Myanmar, shows a video clip that he shot on his mobile phone as he describes the recent violence standing on the bank of the Naf River, near a camp for Rohingya people who illegally crossed the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Teknaf, near Cox’s Bazar, a southern coastal district about, 296 kilometers (183 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The thin, fast-talking Arabic teacher, fled into nearby fields after his village was attacked on Nov. 11. As he fled north, he used his mobile phone to film destruction in other Rohingya villages he passed through. “They came and killed mercilessly. They burned our homes,” says Gani, standing near the Naf River over the weekend. “No one was there to save us.” (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    The U.N. says up 30,000 Rohingya Muslims have abandoned their homes amid the recent violence. Satellite images analyzed by the rights group Human Rights Watch show 1,250 structures destroyed in November in Rohingya villages.

    Osman Gani, a thin, fast-talking Arabic teacher, fled after his village, Gouzo Bil, was attacked Nov. 11.

    “They came and killed mercilessly. They burned our homes,” says Gani, standing near the Naf River over the weekend. “No one was there to save us.”

    He hid with his family for about a week near the village. But when searches intensified, and with soldiers targeting men, he was forced to leave Myanmar without his family.

    “I had no other choice but to leave them behind. I came to the bank of the river and started swimming,” he says. His family was able to join him in Bangladesh a few days later.

    As he fled north, he used his mobile phone to film destruction in other Rohingya villages he passed through. In some, the blackened remains of what appear to be children can be seen amid the wreckage of homes. Gani’s voice can be heard in some of the videos but The Associated Press could not confirm their authenticity.

    “I have shot videos!” he says, holding out his mobile phone to a reporter. “Don’t you see the charred bodies?”

    While he was initially in hiding after the attack, Osmani said he also managed to slip back into his village and film what remained of his home.

    As he walks through the village, a child can be heard talking to him.

    “Where are you coming from?” the boy asks.

    Gani doesn’t answer, instead asking, “Where’s my cow?”

    Then he pans through the ashes and broken concrete. “This is my land, my home,” he says. “This is Puitta’s. This is Uncle Yunus.”
     
  2. ~Phoenix~ Bangladesh

    ~Phoenix~ Mi Captain MI.Net Member

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    BGB sends back 166 Rohingyas
    Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troopers have sent back 166 Rohingyas who were trying to enter Bangladesh to flee persecution in Myanmar's Rakhain state.
    BGB patrols intercepted the trespassers at different points along the Naf River and Palongkhali border on early Saturday.

    Teknaf 2 BGB Commander Lt Col Abujar Al Zahid said:“We raided six different points of the river around 6am and pushed back at least 165 Rohingyas on 11 boats.”

    Meanwhile, a Rohingya was also pushed back from the Palongkhali border, Cox’s Bazar BGB 34 Battalion Commanding Officer Lt Col Imran Ullah Sarker said.

    Thousands of Rohingya Muslims tried to flee into Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state in response to attacks on its border posts on October 9 that killed nine police officers.

    Bangladesh has stepped up security along its border with Myanmar to prevent influx of Rohingyas. Rights activists and Rohingyas say more than 80 people have been killed so far and more than 30,000 others have been displaced.

    Since November, more than 22,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh, the UN said on Friday.
     
  3. ~Phoenix~ Bangladesh

    ~Phoenix~ Mi Captain MI.Net Member

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    11 killed in northern Myanmar insurgent clashes with security forces
    [​IMG]
    Refugees from Myanmar rest at a refugee camp near the China-Myanmar border in Wanding, in China's southwest Yunnan province on November 30, 2016AFP
    Thousands have fled their homes in northern Shan state since the fighting erupted in late November, with many crossing the border into China
    At least 11 people have died this month in northern Myanmar in escalating clashes between security forces and armed insurgents that have undercut Aung San Suu Kyi’s bid for peace.

    Thousands have fled their homes in northern Shan state since the fighting erupted in late November, with many crossing the border into China.

    In response, Beijing has placed its military on high alert, fearing the violence could once again spill into its territory after several of its nationals were killed last year.

    The bodies of nine policemen killed by rebels on December 2 have been recovered, state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said Thursday. Two civilians were also reportedly killed in that incident.

    In total at least 30 soldiers, police, pro-government militia and civilians have died since the fighting began, according to a tally of state media figures.

    The clashes have delivered a fresh blow to de facto leader Suu Kyi’s hopes of forging a nationwide peace agreement to end decades of bloody insurgencies rumbling along Myanmar’s borderlands.

    [​IMG]
    In this file photograph taken October 14, 2016, armed rebels belonging to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ethnic group move towards the frontline near Laiza in Kachin state.AFP

    Suu Kyi prioritised tackling the simmering conflicts after her elected government took power earlier this year, ending decades of military-backed rule.

    But fighting in the northern states of Kachin and Shan, and in the south in Karen, have cast a pall over her efforts and any ceasefire is expected to take years to agree.

    Myanmar’s army has also been carrying out a bloody crackdown in the north of Rakhine state that has sent more than 20,000 from the Muslim Rohingya minority fleeing to Bangladesh.

    Analysts say the recent bout of unrest in Shan threatens the second round of peace talks she had scheduled for February and has strengthened the role of the army, who still control key levers of power.

    Three of the rebel groups fighting in Shan – the Arakan Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army – have not been invited to the negotiations.

    China-brokered talks between government negotiators and the groups reportedly broke down this week.

    But TNLA spokesman Colonel Tar Phone Kyaw said the groups were open to negotiations if the army wanted to talk in good faith.

    “Our alliance from Northern Shan state will stand our ground and defend if they launch more attacks,” he said.

    “But if they stop the fighting, we welcome negotiations to find a solution.”
     
  4. ~Phoenix~ Bangladesh

    ~Phoenix~ Mi Captain MI.Net Member

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    Tensions rise between Myanmar, Bangladesh
    Haroon Habib
    DHAKA: December 30, 2016 01:16 IST


    Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka, Myo Myint Than, to hand over a protest note against firing on Bangladeshi fishermen in the Bay of Bengal.

    Dhaka has claimed that Myanmar’s border troops intruded into Bangladesh waters and opened fire on two fishing boats near the St. Martin’s Island, injuring six on Tuesday. Dhaka demanded an investigation into the incident and asked that those responsible be brought to justice. It also sought assurance that the Myanmar Navy would abstain from “attacking innocent Bangladeshi fishermen” in the future.

    The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary Kamrul Ahsan handed the protest note to the Myanmar envoy.


    In the meeting, Bangladesh also expressed concern over the ongoing influx of the Rohingya Muslims into its territory and demanded their early repatriation to Myanmar. The Foreign Secretary mentioned that around 50,000 Myanmar citizens have taken shelter in Bangladesh since October 9.


    Dhaka also expressed its readiness to discuss with Myanmar the modalities of repatriation.
     
  5. ~Phoenix~ Bangladesh

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    Nobel laureates criticize Aung San Suu Kyi over Rohingya
    7:10 AM Friday Dec 30, 2016


    UNITED NATIONS (AP) " Nearly a dozen fellow Nobel peace laureates on Thursday criticized Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, saying she has failed to ensure equal rights for the minority Rohingya people in Rakhine state, where the group says more than 30,000 people have been displaced amid an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

    A military offensive in recent months by the Myanmar army has led to the deaths of hundreds of Rohingya, the burning of homes, and the raping of women as well as arbitrary detentions, according to an open letter to the U.N. Security Council from a group of 23 activists, including Nobel laureates and current and former political and business leaders.

    "Access for humanitarian aid organizations has been almost completely denied, creating an appalling humanitarian crisis in an area already extremely poor," the letter reads. "Thousands have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, only to be sent back."

    Myanmar's U.N. mission was closed Thursday and an email message seeking a response was not immediately returned.

    Earlier this month, an Amnesty International report claimed that actions by Myanmar's military in Rakhine may constitute crimes against humanity. Myanmar has come under heavy criticism for its army's forceful treatment of the Rohingya, and international human rights groups including Amnesty have accused the military of mass murder, looting and rape.

    In the open letter, the group asks that the U.N. encourage the Myanmar government to lift restrictions on humanitarian aid, grant access to journalists and human rights monitors and establish an independent, international inquiry into the situation in Rakhine state.

    The group also asks that the Security Council make the Rohingya's plight a matter of urgency and that the U.N. Secretary-General visit Myanmar in the coming weeks.

    "If we fail to take action, people may starve to death if they are not killed with bullets, and we may end up being the passive observers of crimes against humanity," the letter says.

    The military sweeps were sparked by an Oct. 9 attack on police outposts in Rakhine state that killed nine officers. Located in Myanmar's west, Rakhine has long been home to simmering tensions between the Muslim ethnic Rohingya minority and the country's Buddhist majority population. The last major outbreak of violence in 2012 left hundreds dead and drove 140,000 people into internal displacement camps.

    Nobel peace laureates who signed the letter include Jose Ramos-Horta, former president of East Timor; South African social rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani advocate for female education and youngest-ever winner of the prize. Others who signed include former Prime Minister of Italy Romano Prodi and British business leader Sir Richard Branson.
     
  6. ~Phoenix~ Bangladesh

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    THE US WARNS MYANMAR OVER ROHINGYA CRISIS



    The reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in Myanmar is at stake amid international concerns over how it is dealing with violence in the country’s divided northwest, a senior U.N. official warned Tuesday.

    The conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has sent hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing across the border to Bangladesh amid allegations of abuses by security forces. The crisis poses a serious challenge to Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, who swept to power last year on promises of national reconciliation.

    In a statement, Adama Dieng, the U.N.’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said the allegations “must be verified as a matter of urgency” and urged the government to allow access to the area.

    “If they are true, the lives of thousands of people are at risk. The reputation of Myanmar, its new government and its military forces is also at stake in this matter,” he said. “Myanmar needs to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law and to the human rights of all its populations. It cannot expect that such serious allegations are ignored or go unscrutinized.”


    Military response-

    Soldiers have poured into the area along Myanmar’s frontier with Bangladesh, responding to coordinated attacks on three border posts on October 9 that killed nine police officers.

    Myanmar’s military and the government are lying and rejecting allegations by residents and rights groups that soldiers have raped Rohingya women, burned houses and killed civilians during the military operation in Rakhine.

    The violence, the most serious bloodshed in Rakhine since hundreds were killed in communal clashes in 2012, has renewed international criticism that Suu Kyi has done too little to alleviate the plight of the Rohingya minority, who are denied citizenship and access to basic services.

    “The government needs, for once and for all, to find a sustainable solution to the situation of the Rohingya Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar, a solution that is in full compliance with the international human rights standards that the government has pledged to respect,” Dieng said.


    Source : Burma Times
     

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