Indonesia's Foreign Minister Urges Self-Restraint in Myanmar Conflict
- Author: Jon Douglas Sep 02, 2017,
Sep 02, 2017, 0:25
New recruits are being trained and armed in the hillsides across the border in Myanmar's Rakhine State, Omar said, where a week of bloody conflict has left at least 110 confirmed dead and driven almost 20,000 civilians into Bangladesh.
Given the deadly military sweep that followed their attacks a year ago, ARSA must have known an even greater backlash would come this time, Neelakantan said. The number continues to grow. In mid-August, after an attack attributed to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army killed 10 policemen, the Myanmar Army has launched a new crackdown in Rakhine.
The Burmese military was swift to respond with the deadliest violence the minority community has witnessed in decades.
It noted a similar phenomenon from October to November 2016, the last time major violence flared in the region, triggering an exodus of some 87,000 Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh. The Union home ministry had directed all states to "identify and deport" Rohingya Muslims.
"The police arrested 71 Rohingya from inside Bangladesh and later on handed them to us", said Manzurul Hassan Khan.
The government of Myanmar also blamed the group for the August 26 killing of six Hindu villagers on in Maungtaw Township in northern Rakhine State.
"Some new arrivals have clothes with them, some even have kitchen utensils, but most leave everything behind".
The army says it is conducting clearance operations against "extremist terrorists" to protect civilians. About 20,000 more Rohingya attempting to flee are stuck at the border.
The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots there that go back centuries. They are often subjected to violence. The Parliament chose to not amend the law just last week. Rohingya activists like Ro Nay San Lwin fear the actions of ARSA have given the military an excuse to "indiscriminately kill", as it has done previously. "It's mostly women and children". According to the cameraman, they were all allegedly killed after a government gunboat attacked their vessel as it was crossing a river.
"The worsening cycle of violence is of grave concern and must be broken urgently", said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, in a statement issued from the Office of UN High Commissioners for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Media reports said Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force, displacing thousands of Rohingya villagers and destroying their homes with mortars and machine guns.
UN's statement made it clear that Secretary-General António Guterres is concerned about the situation. Suu Kyi, celebrated for her role in fighting for democratic rights in Burma, has remained conspicuously insensitive to Rohingya grievances.
After the latest attacks, Myanmar's government has insisted they should only be referred to as "extreme Bengali terrorists".
ARSA is believed to receive funding from the Rohingya diaspora and donors in Saudi Arabia, as well as other parts of the Middle East, ICG says.