Suu Kyi vows to repatriate some Rohingya refugees

20 September, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Suu Kyi vows to repatriate some Rohingya refugees

A military campaign by Myanmar's security forces has destroyed thousands of homes across Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships, Human Rights Watch said.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivered her first speech on Tuesday about the exodus of Rohingya Muslims, a long-persecuted ethnic group targeted in a military crackdown following attacks by Rohingya militants on August 25. The violence was said to be in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts and an army camp, which killed a dozen people on 25 August.

"We really support and are happy about what she has said to the global community".

She accused the worldwide community of overlooking the other challenges facing Myanmar, an overwhelmingly Buddhist country formerly known as Burma, where an estimated 1 million Rohingya Muslims have long complained of persecution.

Promila Sheel, 25, said she made a decision to flee to Bangladesh after her husband was killed by militia.

The watchdog also criticised Suu Kyi's call for worldwide observers to visit Myanmar to assess its troubles for themselves, citing her government's blocking of a United Nations fact-finding mission to probe alleged army atrocities in Rakhine.

Suu Kyi used the term "Rohingya" only once in her speech when she referred to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a militant group.

Though members of the long-persecuted religious minority first arrived in the western state of Rakhine generations ago, most people in Myanmar consider them to have migrated illegally from Bangladesh. "We fear that this name-calling will affect our children who will then for the rest of their life have to keep defending this tag", said Mr. Salim Ullah. Rohingya fled their villages in the military crackdown that followed, and many of their villages have been burned.

Suu Kyi has been strongly criticize by the worldwide community for failing to speak up publicly for the stateless Rohingya or to urge restraint on the military.

Satellite imagery released by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday shows massive swaths of scorched landscape and the near total destruction of 214 villages.

Thus, it becomes unclear whether she referred to the state's entire population, or specifically the Rohingya population, who have been disproportionally affected by recent violence according to the United Nations and others.

"Aung San Suu Kyi's claims that her government "does not fear worldwide scrutiny" ring hollow".

"We can arrange for you to visit these areas and to ask them for yourself why they have not fled. even at a time when everything around them seems to be in a state or turmoil", she said.

Anika said she was able to escape in the confusion and friendly people helped her get across the river Naf to Bangladesh.

"We want to find out why this exodus is happening", Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's governing party, said Tuesday in a nationally televised speech from the capital, Naypyitaw.

There is overwhelming evidence that security forces are engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. China, India, and Russian Federation lend Myanmar unwavering support, and back the government line that the crisis stems not from extreme structural problems in the Myanmar polity but from Rohingya "terrorism" that destabilised a period of peace. Hundreds of thousands more Rohingya were already in Bangladesh from waves of violence years earlier.


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