UN focuses on Myanmar amid Muslim plight
Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:40AM
Since June, hundreds of members of the nearly-one-million-strong Rohingya Muslim minority have been killed and tens of thousands of others among them displaced in the west of the country due to a wave of communal violence.On June 3, 10 Rohingya Muslims were killed when a mob of ethnic group, known as Rakhines, who are mostly Buddhists, attacked a passenger bus in the western Myanmar Rakhine state that borders Bangladesh.
According to a group of UK-based NGOs, from June 10 to 28, 650 Rohingya Muslims were killed, 1,200 went missing, and more than 80,000 others were displaced as a result of rioting, arson, and a cycle of revenge attacks in the western state.The NGOs also accused Myanmar’s Army and police “of playing a leading role in targeting Rohingyas through mass arrests and arbitrary violence.” On July 6, Human Rights Watch said that some within Myanmar's security forces had carried out "mass round-ups" and other abuses against the Muslim minority. "While the Burmese Army has largely contained the sectarian violence, abuses by security forces against Rohingya communities appear to be on the upsurge in recent weeks," the rights group said, using Myanmar's colonial-era name. Over the past two years, throngs of ethnic Muslims have attempted to flee by boats in the face of systematic oppression by the government. The government refuses to recognize them. They say the Rohingya are not native and classify them as illegal migrants, although, they have lived in Myanmar for generations. Referring to the minority, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein told Guterres, "We will send them away if any third country would accept them…This is what we are thinking is the solution to the issue." MHB/MN/HN