Burma denying the outbreak of violence?
More than 40 Muslims were killed when Buddhist mobs attacked a Muslim village in Myanmar’s Norther Rakhine State.
The incident took place in Du Chee Yar Tan, an isolated village in Northern Rakhine state.
According to media reports, a total of 280 people were killed, most of them Muslims, when sectarian violence raged in the country since 2012. Another 250,000 people have fled their homes as well.
Myanmar is dominantly a Buddhist nation of 60 million people and Northern Rakhine is home to 80 percent of the country’s 1 million outcast Muslim Rohingya population.
Myanmar Denying The Violence?
Amid evidence of massacres and violence, the Myanmar government has repeatedly denied the outbreak of violence against Rohingya Muslims.
Even the Chief Minister of Rakhine state Hla Maung Tin told people about “false news published and aired by foreign media that children and women were killed in the violence.”
According to the UN, there are around 1 million Rohingya in Myanmar. The US called them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Some of the Rohingya have been denied citizenship, making them stateless. For many decades, they have been persecuted and discriminated against.
US Concerned About Violence in Northern Rakhine State
In a press statement in Washington DC, deep concern was expressed over reports that at least 40 people have been killed, as well as the disappearance of a police officer.
“We reiterate our call for the Government of Burma to launch an immediate, credible and independent investigation into the violence and hold accountable those responsible.” – US State Department
The US encouraged the Government of Burma to work toward a durable solution in Rakhine State that addresses the underlying causes of conflict in the state to create conditions for sustainable peace and development.
United Nations Reports
According to various UN reports, “Tal camp set up in the year – 2002 at Teknaf Upazila under Cox’s Bazar district again it relocated at Leda Bazar Camp.”
Around 34,000 Muslim refugees created a new camp known as Kutupalong, between 2009-2010. At the same time, the UN report says there were around 300,000 undocumented stateless Rohingya Muslim minority refugees, whom Myanmar had refused recognition as Myanmar citizens for many years. They had taken shelter and were staying illegally around Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban and Chittagong districts of Bangladesh, one of the poorest areas in Bangladesh.
Kutupalong and Nayapara in Cox’s Bazar district had 29,000 registered refugees (11,500 in Kutupalong and 17,500 in Nayapara). These registered Rohingya refugees obtained UNHCR official ‘refugee status’ and had been living in the UNHCR camps. 20,000 were unregistered in Kutapalong and another 10,000 unregistered in Leda Bazar camp near Nayapara in Cox’s Bazar district, living in private camps in unhygienic conditions.
The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) reports, “About 200,000 to 400,000 Rohingya Muslim refugee spontaneously had settled across the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh in June, 2010, while in June, 2012, there are around 92,000 refugees once again fled from their native areas Arakan State after ethnic conflict occurred between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslim Community, but Myanmar Government in this connection stated about 52,000 Rohingya peoples fled from the nation after the ethnic clash broke out.”
According to the Rohingya Muslim Community leaders, “It is fact that a number of factors linked to legal, political, economic and social aspects had persuaded the Rohingyas to cross the Bangladesh-Myanmar international border and entered into Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Australia, and in various Middle East and European countries in a scattered way. Out of about the 2.5-million Rohingya Muslims, around 2-million were claimed to be living outside their country of origin, Burma. But, in this context, Bangladesh always took a silent spectator’s role.”
Under the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Muslim refugees are not refugees.