Endless persecution of the Rohingya: paper

ABU DHABI, 31st October, 2016 (WAM) — A UAE newspaper has said that the woes of Rohingya Muslims, one of the world’s most persecuted people, never seem to end.

Eight Rohingya women, all from U Shey Kya village in the Myanmar State of Rakhine, have described in detail to Reuters about how soldiers recently raided their homes, looted property and raped at gunpoint.

“The escalation in violence in Rakhine state is a matter of grave concern that calls for better attention from the international community,” said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday.

The paper went on to say, “On 9th of October, unidentified individuals and groups attacked border guards and security forces. The worry now is that the military has been using the search for those attackers as a pretext for a crackdown on helpless Rohingya.

“The crisis in Rakhine surely marks the biggest challenge Myanmar’s civilian government has faced and raises questions over de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s ability to maintain control of the military. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been facing international criticism for not doing enough to ease the plight of around 1.1 million Rohingya living in Rakhine, most of whom are denied Myanmar citizenship.

“According to the residents, some 150 soldiers arrived near U Shey Kya on 19th October. Most male residents left the village as they believed they would be suspected as insurgents. The women stayed behind in the belief the military would burn down empty homes. The rampaging soldiers took gold, money and other property, and spoiled rice stores with sand.

“One survivor’s words could rattle the heart of any good human being, ‘We can’t move to another village to find medical care. I don’t have clothes now or food to eat. It was all destroyed. I’m feeling ashamed and scared.’ “The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, had also expressed grave concern recently at the eruption of violence in Rakhine. The OIC received disturbing reports of extra judicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, burning of houses, and arbitrary arrests by security forces in Maungdaw Township and other villages.

“It is apparent that the crackdown has shattered years of work rebuilding trust between the Muslim and Buddhist communities in Rakhine after ethnic and religious violence broke out there in 2012.

“What compounds the worry is that innocent civilians are being caught up in the security crackdown.

The Sharjah-based daily concluded by quoting OIC Secretary-General, Iyad Ameen Madani, as saying, “It is only through dialogue and reconciliation with all members of society, including the Rohingya, that Myanmar could achieve true democracy, development and socio-economic progress.”