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International Rohingya Bodies Call Upon Nations for 'Responsibility to Protect' & 'Prevent Crimes against Humanity'

India had in late 2017 signed a development programme with the Myanmar government to them in building housing infrastructure for displaced persons in the Rakhine State. (Image : Reuters)

India had in late 2017 signed a development programme with the Myanmar government to them in building housing infrastructure for displaced persons in the Rakhine State. (Image : Reuters)

The European Rohingya Council has alleged that "Aung San Suu Kyi's departments, ministry of information and ministry of state-counsellor office, pave the path for the armed forces to commit "crimes against humanity" by labeling the whole Rohingya community as "terrorists" or "terrorist sympathizers."

New Delhi: The European Rohingya Council and other signatory international Rohingya bodies have urged the international world to show their 'responsibility to protect' Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar who have recently faced a large scale attack on August 25 by the Myanmar Armed Forces.

The bodies have stated that the Myanmar Armed Forces have complete support from the government of Myanmar.

Elaborating on the point, the council has said that "very clear lines have been drawn connecting all the events that have been taking place in the recent weeks: the mobilization of a highly advanced army battalion and other security forces in the northern region of Rakhine State; the high-level meeting between Min Aung Hlaing and Rakhine nationalist party ANP lawmakers; the visit of now-rebranded Ma Ba Tha's firebrand monk Wirathu to Rakhine State; the failure to pass the proposal in parliament for an increase of security measures and creation of fully trained and armed "people's militia" against the Rohingya civilians".

The statement from the European Rohingya Council comes just days after the Rakhine state of Myanmar stood witness to large scale violence.

A Rohingya woman urges the member of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) not to turn them back to Myanmar, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on August 27, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain)

Since August 25, thousands of Rohingya from at least 25 villages are displaced as their villages were set on fire with rocket-launchers. Many villagers in isolated locations are attempting to take shelter in the jungle; others have risked crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border most are stranded on the Myanmar-side of the Naf River as Bangladesh tightens its border security and continues to push back the fleeing Rohingya.

The civilians are inundated with an acute humanitarian crisis and medical emergency. In addition to the existing medical conditions and injuries sustained from indiscriminate firing from the armed forces, "Rohingya are subjected to the commandeering of their homes, destruction of property and livestock".

The last time there was this scale of violence in Rakhine state was on October 9, 2016. The attacks then were first launched by the Rohingya militant group Harakah al-Yaqin, which later changed its name to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. In response, the Myanmar Armed Forces launched so-called “clearance operations” which resulted in the massacre of innumerable Rohingya lives. Human Rights Watch (HRW) had then documented extrajudicial killings and the rape of women and girls, in addition to the burning of structures.

The council has alleged that "Aung San Suu Kyi's departments, ministry of information and ministry of state-counsellor office, pave the path for the armed forces to commit "crimes against humanity" by labeling the whole Rohingya community as "terrorists" or "terrorist sympathizers."

This development also comes close on the heels of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju's, statement in the Parliament on August 9, where he clearly stated that the government was firm on deporting all 40,000 Rohingyas taking shelter in India at the moment. A ground report by News18 in Delhi had revealed as to how these Rohingyas are scared to be deported and prefer to "be killed here, rather than being sent to Myanmar."

Further, the council has now appealed to the international community to exercise "the Responsibility to Protect" as the Rohingya civilian population plunges into another episode of widespread "crimes against humanity" under the hands of Myanmar Armed Forces.