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The UN refugee agency says an estimated 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two weeks.
The UN refugee agency says an estimated 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two weeks.

Genocide in Myanmar

Genocide in Myanmar

An estimated 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two weeks, the UN refugee agency said on Friday, announcing a dramatic jump in numbers fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

A rights group said satellite images showed about 450 buildings had been burned down in a Myanmar border town largely inhabited by Rohingya, as part of what the Muslim minority refugees say is a concerted effort to expel them, news outlets reported. Meanwhile, thousands of people took to the streets across Asia on Friday to denounce Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.

Political and Islamic groups, along with other civil society organizations, joined protests in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka to urge Myanmar to “stop committing genocide” and take back those who have sought refuge elsewhere.

Placards and banners criticized Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Protests also took place in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Iran where President Hassan Rouhani condemned Myanmar’s brutal crimes against Rohingya Muslims, calling them “a big humanitarian catastrophe” tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.”

Rouhani slammed the inaction of international organizations in this regard, saying “there needs to be more pressure on the government and army of Myanmar.”

He urged China and Bangladesh, two neighboring countries of Myanmar, to increase their aid and be more welcoming to refugees.

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu has called on Aung San Suu Kyi to end military-led operations against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.

“I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness,” he wrote in a letter posted on social media.

“It is incongruous for a symbol of righteousness to lead such a country,” said the anti-apartheid activist. “If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.”    

 

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