Stop the Violence Against Rohingya; End Discrimination and Protect Civilians.
Rohingya minority in Myanmar, formerly Burma, have been facing continuing persecution that, according to many reports and experts, has reached the extent of a genocide. Myanmar government has refused to grant them citizenship and they remain the most persecuted social group in the country. Canadian Voice of Women for Peace condemns the systematic attacks on Rohingya minority and calls on Myanmar’s leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi to take a serious action to stop the systematic attacks on them and to give access to aid workers.
Rohingya, comprising 1.6 percent of the country’s population, are Muslims who live in the northern part of Rakhine State. The conflict erupted in late August between the country’s armed forces and Rohingya militants. The conflict has since escalated as official reports confirm that 400 were killed in the recent violence.
More than 120,000 have fled to Bangladesh, while 400,000 are trapped in the conflict. According to several reports, United Nations’ aid agencies are blocked from delivering food, water and medicine to the Rohingya. On September 5, UN’s secretary-general, António Guterres has warned of the risk of ethnic cleansing. Guterres said that he has officially written to the Security Council to express his concern and to propose various steps to end the violence, adding that the grievances of Rohingya “have festered for far too long and are becoming an undeniable factor in regional destabilization.”
News satellite data, recently obtained and analyzed by Human Rights Watch, show widespread burnings in northern parts of Burma’s Rakhine state. According to Human Rights Watch, those who made their way to Bangladesh said that Burmese soldiers, police, and ethnic mobs had carried out armed attacks on villagers and burned down their homes. “In Bangladesh, I met many in the overcrowded Cox’s Bazar hospital suffering from bullet and shrapnel wounds,” mentioned Tejshree Thapa, Senior South Asia Researcher for Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch documented extrajudicial killings and rape of women and girls, in addition to destruction of structures.
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace is appalled by the persecution of Rohingya minority and calls on Myanmar’s authorities and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to immediately and urgently:
- End the ongoing systematic persecution of Rohingya minority
- Allow aid workers to deliver food, water and medicine
- Investigate allegations of extrajudicial killings and rape of women and girls
- Guarantee that those who return to their villages will not be subjected to persecution
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace also urges Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to call on Myanmar’s government to protect its minorities and end persecution and violence.
Photo credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain