Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Protesters try to block Rohingya aid

Protesters try to block Rohingya aid

"They are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum". Party sources admit that though there has been much politicisation of the issue by the likes of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi who has been asking "if persecuted Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen could stay in India, why not the Rohingyas?"

He said also referred to the humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh in handling the Rohingya crisis. "Recently, Burmese security forces responded to militant attacks on government outposts with awful savagery, burning villages, driving the Rohingya from their homes; the images of the violence and its victims have shocked the American people and decent people all over the world".

The crisis has prompted a global chorus of condemnation against Myanmar's government for failing to blame the all-powerful military for the renewed violence, which French President Emmanuel Macron called a "genocide".

Britain sent back five Myanmar army officers from a training session this week, "on account of the current situation in Rakhine", Myanmar's army said on Facebook late Wednesday. Almost 400,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since late August during the outbreak of violence in the Rakhine state as recent satellite images released by Amnesty International provided evidence that security forces were trying to push the minority Muslim group out of the country.

"People thought the aid was only for the Bengalis", state government secretary Tin Maung Swe told Reuters, using a term that Rohingya find offensive.

The attack occurred in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state.

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After a series of attacks by Muslim militants last month, security forces and allied mobs retaliated by burning down thousands of homes in the enclaves of the predominantly Buddhist nation where the Rohingya live.

Aid agencies have launched a huge relief operation around Cox's Bazar, but they say they have been taken by surprise by the scope of the influx from Myanmar.

"But the Myanmar government is not responding to the calls".

The Centre on Tuesday had said the continuance of the Rohingyas' illegal immigration into India and their continued stay was found to have serious national security ramifications. Instead of denouncing the violence perpetrated by the military, Suu Kyi said more time was needed to investigate why so many Rohingya are fleeing.

Amid urgent calls from the United Nations for humanitarian access this week, Myanmar insisted the crisis was easing.

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