Leaked: US wondering whether to call killing Rohingyas ‘genocide’

Leaked: US wondering whether to call killing Rohingyas ‘genocide’

Mon Aug 13, 2018 08:29PM  Home : US Foreign Policy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signs a guestbook in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on August 4, 2018. (AFP photo)

The United States is still undecided whether to use the term “genocide” in reference to the systematic campaign of violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, a leaked document shows.

“Draft excerpts from a Pompeo statement obtained exclusively by POLITICO include the bracketed phrase “hold for determination” in a passage that will offer Pompeo’s conclusion about how to describe the vicious campaign against one of Myanmar’s most vulnerable ethnic minority groups’” read the POLITICO report on Monday.

A Rohingya refugee boy (AFP file photo)

The Rohingya Muslims based in Rakhine have been subjected to a campaign of killings, rape and arson attacks by the country’s majority Buddhist extremists in what the UN has described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” This is while an intense debate reportedly continues in the White House over the term.

Pompeo is expected to deliver a speech on the subject following a State Department investigation into the matter. The department’s investigation has found that Myanmar’s military exhibited “premeditation and coordination” ahead of a slaughter of the minority group last year.

Washington generally avoids using the term genocide in an attempt to bypass international law, requiring it to intervene. On the other hand, the US tries to maintain good ties with the Myanmar government to keep China at bay.

The brutal campaign against the Muslims has forced some 700,000 people to flee their homeland since August 2017 and seek refuge elsewhere. The Rohingya, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, are denied citizenship and are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise denies them citizenship.

Source: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/13/571100/Rohingyas-White-House-debating-genocide-label-for-Myanmar

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Rohingya refugee camp gutted in Rakhine State fire

In Remembrances of Rohingyas of 2016 Fire in IDP Camp Sittwe, Arakan State We post again for Documentation

IN PICTURES/ MYANMAR

Rohingya refugee camp gutted in Rakhine State fire

Fire destroys shelters of about 2,000 Rohingya Muslims refugees in camp in the western Rakhine State of Myanmar.

4 MAY 2016

Debris after fire destroyed shelters at a camp for internally displaced Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine State near Sittwe, Myanmar. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

A fire broke out on Tuesday in a camp for internally displaced Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, destroying shelters where about 2,000 people had lived. At least 14 people were injured, the United Nations said.

Camps in the area largely house members of the marginalised Rohingya Muslim minority, who were displaced by fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012.

The fire at the Baw Du Pha 2 camp near the state capital of Sittwe started in the morning.”Based on information currently available, at least 14 people were injured by the fire. There are reports of fatalities but this has not been verified,” the UN said.

Boys search for useful items among the ashes of burned-out houses. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

The fire destroyed about 44 “long houses” and damaged up to nine, affecting 440 households, it said.

Myanmar’s Rohingya population is stateless and thousands of them have fled persecution and poverty, often by boat to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Some 125,000 Rohingya remain displaced and face severe travel restrictions while living in camps.

Faced with apartheid-like restrictions that limit access to jobs, education and healthcare, thousands have braved perilous boat journeys in search of better lives in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The charred remains of wooden shelters and twisted metal roofs are visible through a thick haze of smoke. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

Rakhine’s Rohingya are labelled ‘Bengali’ by hardline Buddhists and many government officials, who brand them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh even though many can trace their ancestry back generations. SOE ZEYA TUN / REUTERS

People stand in the debris after fire destroyed shelters at the camp for internally displaced Rohingya Muslims. SOE ZEYA/REUTERS

Authorities said a cooking stove had caused the blaze at the Baw Du Pha camp near the state capital Sittwe, with strong winds spreading flames from house to house in the tinder-dry area. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

A woman walks among the debris from the camp’s burned-out buildings. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

Some 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya, have been trapped in grim displacement camps since they were driven from their homes by waves of violence between Buddhists and minority Muslims four years ago. SOE ZEYA TUN – REUTERS

The conflict left Rakhine state deeply scarred, effectively segregating communities on religious grounds
and depressing the local economy. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

Last month at least 20 Muslims from a Rakhine displacement camp drowned when their boat capsized in choppy waters while travelling to a market in Sittwe. SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS

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Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/05/myanmar-rohingya-muslim-refugee-camp-gutted-rakhine-state-fire-160504110727161.html

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Myanmar asks Bangladesh to stop aid to stranded Rohingya

Myanmar asks Bangladesh to stop aid to stranded Rohingya

Published: 13:02 BST, 12 August 2018 | Updated: 13:02 BST, 12 August 2018

Around 6,000 Rohingya refugees are now stuck in a narrow “no mans land” between Myanmar and Bangladesh while relying on international aid sent by Dhaka

Myanmar has asked Bangladesh to stop providing aid to 6,000 Rohingya stranded on the border between the two countries since a military crackdown prompted a mass exodus of the Muslim minority last year, the foreign ministry in Dhaka said.

The group refused to enter Bangladesh in the months during and after Myanmar’s military campaign, which drove 700,000 other Rohingya across the frontier in an act the United Nations, United States and other western countries have condemned as ethnic cleansing.

They are now stuck in a narrow “no mans land” relying on international aid sent by Bangladesh. Myanmar called for the aid to be halted in talks between Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali and Myanmar’s top diplomatic envoy, Kyaw Tint Swe, in Myanmar’s capital Napyidaw on Friday, the foreign ministry said late Saturday.

“Myanmar particularly requested Bangladesh to stop providing humanitarian assistance to those people… and proposed to arrange supply of humanitarian assistance from Myanmar side,” the ministry said.

Bangladesh made no commitment but “responded positively” to Myanmar’s proposal to conduct a survey of the no mans land area, the ministry said. A Myanmar minister on a visit to the strip of land earlier this year warned the Rohingya refugees that they will face “consequences” if they do not take up a Myanmar offer to return.

Dil Mohammad, a Rohingya community leader among the group on the border, told AFP the latest pressure from Myanmar to vacate the no mans land area would add to their hardship. “There will be uncertainty whether Myanmar will regularly provide us with food and humanitarian assistance. If Bangladesh stops helping us from their side, we will have a huge problem,” he said.

Kyaw Tint Swe, a minister in the office of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, also made a new pledge to speed up implementation of a repatriation deal agreed with Bangladesh in November. Myanmar committed to taking the Rohingya back in that deal, but none have returned. Rohingya leaders say that those sheltering at overflowing refugee camps in Bangladesh will not go back until their safety is guaranteed.

The majority of Myanmar’s Rohingya fled the country following a crackdown that started last August after attacks by Rohingya militants on police posts. They have joined about 300,000 in camps around Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district who fled earlier waves of violence in Myanmar. Myanmar views the Rohingya as illegal migrants and has long denied them citizenship and basic rights, despite their long roots in the country’s west.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-6052265/Myanmar-asks-Bangladesh-stop-aid-stranded-Rohingya.html

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The end of the Rohingya village

The end of the Rohingya village

The end of the Rohingya village

BY TIN THEIN ON AUGUST 14, 2018

 Editorial

By now it is becoming quite evident that Rohingya villages will not stand the test of time. Seven years back, as a world cheered on a new supposedly democratic Myanmar, many Rohingyas dared to hope for a better future. Yet by mid 2018, almost a year after one of the most brutal military campaigns in modern history, it is evident that the authorities are laying the blueprint for the complete destruction of Rohingya habitats.

The Rohingyas who remain will be relocated from their old villages into cramped IDP camps guarded by the very security forces who led the ethnic cleansing of 2017.

Events in both Buthidaung and Maungdaw confirm this. In Taung Bazaar and Guam Pyi of Buthidaung, state government and immigration officers have informed local villagers that they will have to leave their homes and settle in a designated spot where the government has built ‘housing’ for them. In Maungdaw, the visiting Bangladeshi Foreign Minister and his entourage were given a tour of one the centres which will hold the Rohingya population who would supposedly be accepted by Myanmar. These centres set up by Myanmar to house returning Rohingyas from Bangladesh have stunned many because of their eerie likeness to Nazi concentration camps. There is no going back to their former lands for the Rohingya.

The riots of 2012 destroyed the fabric of Rohingya society in the central townships e.g. Akyab, Kyauktaw, Mrauk U and so on. Rohingyas there were either banished to IDP camps where living conditions have been described by aid agencies as being the ‘worst in the world’, or their villages have been under intense blockade leading to starvation like circumstances. It seems that the few Rohingyas left in Maungdaw and Buthidaung are eyeing a fate similar if not worse. The same stands true for any Rohingya who might be repatriated to Myanmar under any of the bilateral or international agreements.

Instead of repatriation and resettlement, Myanmar seems more determined than ever to wipe out the remaining traces of Rohingya humanity in Arakan.

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Tags: IDP, Rohingya, Concentration Camps, Extinction, Forced To Leave, Genocide, Myanmar, Repatriation

Source: https://rohingyakhobor.com/index.php/2018/08/14/the-end-of-the-rohingya-village/

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Why the Muslim world must protect the Rohingya

 Why the Muslim world must protect the Rohingya

Hafed Al-Ghwell

Hafed Al-Ghwell  August 11, 2018 17:15   378

The Rohingya refugee crisis stunned the world when the first reports emerged of widespread ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state in Myanmar. Each new report was more alarming than the last, with stories of property seizures, arson, rape and murder of the Rohingya people, a Sunni-Muslim minority group in a country where about 80 percent of the people identify as Buddhists.

 

The persecution of minority Muslims in Myanmar dates as far back as the 11th century. The Rohingya can trace their origins to the 8th century. Throughout Myanmar’s history there have been instances in which the Buddhist majority, usually sparked by an alleged rape, theft, destruction of property, assault, or murder by supposedly Muslim antagonists, take to the streets in violent protests and commit atrocities against ethnic minorities.

The 2016-2017 crackdown was sparked by attacks on the Myanmar army and police facilities by a militant group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. According to Medecins Sans Frontieres, thousands of Rohingya were killed by the Myanmar military in the first months of the crackdown. Military forces have used lethal force against fleeing refugees, and in some cases deliberately targeted them by planting land mines at border crossings. The worst outcome is that, with each new attack, tensions increase and continue to fuel resentment in the violent Buddhist/Muslim divide that has inspired many atrocities throughout Myanmar’s history.

As of 2018, the Myanmar government and military forces have moved into former Rohingya villages and settlements, cleared abandoned homes and farmlands to build homes, security posts and bases, and infrastructure such as roads and power plants, solidifying this ethnic cleansing with facts on the ground.

Even more alarming was the initial silence of Aung San Suu Kyi, a diplomat, politician, author, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and international icon. As State Counsellor she is effectively Myanmar’s prime minister. After years of political skirmishes, house arrest, threats of exile and more between her and the junta that ruled Myanmar, most of the world expected her to order a stop to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

However, Suu Kyi has chosen silence; she has rejected the invitation to engage in any meaningful dialogue to find permanent solutions to a worsening crisis. For a time, Suu Kyi was the darling of Western media and governments as well as a leading figure in non-violent resistance, thanks to her Gandhi-inspired pro-democracy movement in a country that had endured decades of repressive military rule. However, she has now resorted to denying that the Rohingya are suffering under ethnic cleansing. At times, she has even accused the international community of worsening the Rohingya crisis.

Even more alarming was the initial silence of Aung San Suu Kyi, a diplomat, politician, author, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and international icon  – Hafed Al-Ghwell

Many people believed that the many years Suu Kyi spent under house arrest, and the many instances in which she struggled to overcome a junta that had no intention of giving up power, would embolden her to urge normalization of relations with the Rohingya.

Unfortunately, even though she is the de facto prime minister, Myanmar’s military still wields significant authority. Thus, despite having a civilian government, Suu Kyi cannot order the military to curtail attacks on the Rohingya. Given the predominantly Buddhist population in Burma, it would be politically difficult for her to urge her political party or government to push through reforms that would protect the Rohingya or even guarantee them full status as citizens.

In response to the Rohingya crisis, there have been protests in Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. However, on their own, southeast Asian countries lack the proper legal framework to address grave humanitarian concerns such as the plight of the Rohingya. In fact, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has a non-intervention clause guaranteeing that member nations will not interfere in each other’s domestic affairs.

In the rest of the of the Arab and Muslim world, widespread support for the Rohingya in Friday prayers, news coverage, and social media is common. For most Muslims around the globe, this issue transcends all regional divisions, nationalities, and ethnic and sectarian religious divides. Sadly, beyond condemnations and public statements, very little is being done at the official levels. The only exception I can see is the response of Saudi Arabia, which has offered resident status to tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims and granted them access to public education and services.

The Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as individual countries, must follow up on this strong public outcry by taking a strong and united stand against Myanmar, politically and economically. It is imperative that the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya not be allowed to become a precedent that would empower other unsavory regimes to engage in ethnic and religious cleansing of the Muslim minorities in their countries. Saudi Arabia, without question, is the natural leader in preventing this from happening.

Hafed Al-Ghwell is a non-resident senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Institute at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is also senior adviser at the international economic consultancy Maxwell Stamp and at the geopolitical risk advisory firm Oxford Analytica, a member of the Strategic Advisory Solutions International Group in Washington DC and a former adviser to the board of the World Bank Group. Twitter: @HafedAlGhwell

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view:

Source: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1354591

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Taung Bazaar Rohingyas ordered to leave their homes

Taung Bazaar Rohingyas ordered to leave their homes

 BY TIN THEIN ON AUGUST 12, 2018

The BGP has ordered all the Rohingya Muslim residents in five hamlets of Taung Bazaar to leave their homes and relocate in a single zone. The order was given to village administrators of Mee Chaung Swe, Nan Yah Gone, Khin Tha Mar, Mee Chaung Zay and Dar Bine Sara Bhongbazar in separate meetings last Sunday.

The directive basically means that the Rohingyas will have to reside in a cramped IDP camp surrounded by hostile state forces. Reports indicate that the security forces are taking steps to reside all the Rohingyas of Buthiduang in a few camps, shutting them off from the outside world.

Incidentally Taung Bazaar was one of the areas which bore the brunt of the 2017 Tatmadaw led operations. The security forces fired rocket launchers indiscriminately into Rohingya habitats killing hundreds including women and children. Many of those captured were locked into houses which were then set on fire by security forces and their Rakhine cohorts, according to eyewitnesses who fled to Bangladesh.

Published in Rohingya News

Tags: IDP, Rohingya

Source: https://rohingyakhobor.com/index.php/2018/08/12/taung-bazaar-rohingyas-ordered-to-leave-their-homes

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Rohingya Of Myanmar Remain In Refugee Camps In Bangladesh

Rohingya Of Myanmar Remain In Refugee Camps In Bangladesh

August 11, 2018  8:19 AM ET

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday  –  

Jason Beaubien

U.N. aid agencies and the government of Bangladesh have criticized Myanmar for delays in offering safe return to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled their homes in Myanmar last August.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It’s been almost a year since an eruption of violence in Myanmar drove hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh. Nearly a million Rohingya now live in a series of makeshift camps that include the largest refugee camp in the world. NPR’s Jason Beaubien is in the Kutupalong camp and joins us now. Jason, thanks so much for being with us.

JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: It’s good to be with you.

SIMON: It’s the monsoon season in Bangladesh. What are the conditions like for the people who live there?

 BEAUBIEN: I mean, they’ve really settled into these camps. You know, they fortified their shelters. When it rains, the places just turn to mud, the sort of walkways in between the shelters all quickly flood. People have tied down their roofs. This is on some really sandy hills that they’ve set up these camps. And as people came in, they – one of the first things that happened was they stripped, like, all the vegetation away. Their animals either ate it. Or they used the wood to cook fires. And so a lot of those hillsides have been collapsing. So at the moment, you’re getting people coming in and just putting tarps and sandbags over hillsides. It’s quite an effort just to keep things from falling in on itself. But people are surviving.

SIMON: And a huge number of people – how do they live from day to day?

 BEAUBIEN: You know, for the most part, people are surviving off international food aid. They get rations from the U.N. from the World Food Programme. There are also other charities that are handing out food. They technically are not allowed to work here in Bangladesh. But people are figuring things out, you know? People are starting little barbershops. People are starting to grow things. There are, like, some work programs that they’re able to do with some of the aid agencies. People are selling fruit on the streets. People are just scraping together a little bit of money however they can. And yeah. That’s how people are basically living here. They technically are not allowed to work. And they’re technically not allowed to leave these encampments.

SIMON: Jason, from what you can see there, what – are the Rohingya at all interested? Do they think they can go back to Myanmar because they’re not made exactly welcome in Bangladesh, are they?

 BEAUBIEN: No, they are not. The Bangladesh government has made it clear that they want them to go back, that it’s a huge burden on what’s already an incredibly poor country, Bangladesh. And Bangladesh would like them to go back. But Myanmar has also made it very clear that they don’t really want them despite making some overtures saying that they will welcome them back. It is the million-dollar question here. I mean, some people want to go back. They say that’s our home over there in Myanmar.

You know, Bangladesh is not our country. And they feel like if they are going to have a state anywhere in the world that it’s there. But then there are other people who just say no way. I talked to a woman yesterday. And she watched much of her family get killed before her very eyes last August. She says she was raped. She was beaten. And she told me she would drink a bottle of poison before she will re-cross that border and return to Myanmar.

SIMON: NPR’s Jason Beaubien in one of the Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh – Jason, thanks so much for being with us.

BEAUBIEN: It’s good to be with you.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/11/637780604/rohingya-of-myanmar-remain-in-refugee-camps-in-bangladesh

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Rape by Command
Pre-planned Expulsion
Witness to horror
UN : FLASH REPORT
WE ARE AT BREAKING POINT
The Rohingyas

The cover of the Rohingya; A short account of their history and culture

A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ARAKAN