01/20/2017, 13.16
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Kuala Lumpur, Muslim nations against Myanmar: Enough violence against Rohingya

The "special session" of the OIC focused on persecution of the Muslim minority in Myanmar. Najib Razak calls for the perpetrators to be "brought to justice." Bangladesh Minister: Respond to the question concerning citizenship.


Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Regional governments, international Islamic organizations and human rights activists are launching a new appeal to the government of Myanmar, to put an end to the tragedy of Rohingya Muslims. The Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak addressed the vertices of Naypyidaw, invoking the end of all forms of discrimination and attacks; the Muslim-majority countries, adds the premier, will take on the task of acting to stem this "humanitarian tragedy" of huge proportions.

"The killings must end," stressed Najib, during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) requested from Kuala Lumpur to discuss the Rohingya emergency. "The persecution of fellow citizens, men and women - he added - for the simple reason that they are Muslims, has to end."

"We appeal to the government of Myanmar - said Najib - to put an immediate end to all discriminatory actions and attacks against Rohingya. And that the culprits are brought to justice."

In recent months, violent clashes have increased between the Myanmar military and what they call "a militant group of Muslim Rohingya" in Rakhine State.

The Rohingya are a Muslim group of just over one million people, originally from Bangladesh who live mostly in refugee camps scattered across Myanmar. The latter has refused to grant them citizenship.

As a result of the violence, at least 90 people have died and about 30,000 have been displaced since the beginning of October. Reports of widespread abuse have also emerged. The Tatmadaw continues to go from village to village clearing the territory of rebels. The Rohingya have complained of summary executions, arbitrary arrests, rapes, houses torched in a what the government has called “clearance operations” intended to strike those who have attacked Myanmar security forces.

The authorities flatly deny allegations of abuses and genocide, but they have prevented independent journalists and aid workers from accessing parts of the State.

Yesterday the foreign ministers of member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation got together for a "special session"in Malaysia to address the Rohingya crisis. The OIC represents 57 Muslim-majority states, with a combined population of 1.6 billion people. It acts as a "collective voice" in a Muslim world that is often divided.

The OIC ministers call for free access to Rakhine State to launch an independent investigation to shed light on the accusations of ethnic cleansing against the minority.

The meeting was held in the capital of Malaysia and lasted one day. In the resolution adopted at the end of the meeting, the representatives requested the OIC Secretary General Yousef al-Othaimeen deal with the Burmese Government for  the formation of a delegation that has access to the area. In addition, Naypyidaw has to ensure the green light to the entrance of humanitarian aid. The organization also says it is ready to work with the United Nations and ASEAN [the association that brings together 10 countries of South-East Asia] to promote inter-religious dialogue in Myanmar Buddhist majority.

The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Shahriar Alam finally requested repatriation to Myanmar and recognition of citizenship of the Rohingya refugees who have sought shelter across the border. According to data released by the government of Dhaka, at least 65 thousand people have crossed the border to escape the Burmese army repression. Of those, approximately 33 thousand are living in refugee camps and other 300 thousand are outside of these centers, in extremely precarious conditions.

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