February 21, 2018

Hundreds Die As Rohingya Muslims Witness Deadliest Violence In Decades

01 September 2017, 09:54 | Christie Tate

Rohingya crisis: Situation worsens in Myanmar as 18000 Muslims flee in 5 days

21 dead after Rohingya boats capsized in Naf

Last week, government had raised "serious concern" over reports of renewed violence and attacks in Myanmar and extended its "strong" support to the Myanmarese government at this "challenging moment". Bangladesh, which is already host to more than 400,000 Rohingya said it will not accept any more refugees, despite an appeal by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for Dhaka to allow Rohingya to seek safety.

Analysts blame Myanmar's government for the conditions that led to the group's creation.

In just one week, nearly 50,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state, according to estimates by the UN.

However those fleeing to Bangladesh say a campaign of arson and killings aims to force them out.

Most Rohingya are denied citizenship and other rights the country's Buddhist majority enjoy, living in abject poverty with little access to aid. Rohingyas, after being chased down by the Myanmar junta, had fled to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

Abdullah, a Rohingya villager still in Myanmar, said four out of six hamlets in his village had been burned down by security forces, prompting all residents to flee towards Bangladesh. The subsequent military offensive has led to the worst human rights and humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State since 2012.

Myanmar classes the militants as "Bengali terrorists" and has accused them of indiscriminate murder and torching both Rohingya homes and those of other communities.

Chair of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, Kofi Annan, last week delivered a report to the government of Myanmar, which said that the area represented a combination of development, human rights and security crisis.

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The coordinated attacks prove the insurgents' abilities have grown significantly, and they may have adopted new tactics as well. If confirmed, she said, "this represents a serious new development" that could escalate the conflict dramatically.

About 27,400 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since Friday, three United Nations sources said, after Rohingya insurgents wielding sticks, knives and crude bombs attacked police posts and an army base in Rakhine state, leading to clashes that killed at least 117 people.

However, successive governments in Myanmar have rejected their claims and were not included in the list of recognised ethnic groups.

The latest clashes in Myanmar began last Friday when Rohingya militants staged deadly attacks on police posts, prompting raids on the community and searches by troops and police.

But some Rohingya accuse the rebels of provoking the army into revenge attacks and inviting nothing but add to the misery of the long-persecuted minority. "We are Burmese Hindus", said Chitya Ranjan Paul, who reached Kutupalong around 5:30pm yesterday. It's unclear how many fighters the group now has. "The military is the only one that can give a lesson to tame the Bengali terrorists".

Ethnic Rohingya carry an elderly man and walk through rice fields after crossing over to the Bangladeshi side of the border on Friday.

Around 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya now living in mainly Buddhist Myanmar have been denied citizenship and are classified as illegal immigrants. Ms Neelakantan said there are reports that ARSA has executed suspected informants as part of a brutal effort to boost the insurgent group's influence and control.

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