THE HAGUE (Reuters)
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which U.N. investigators say was carried out with “genocidal intent”. Buddhist majority Myanmar denies accusations of genocide.
Gambia, a tiny, mainly Muslim West African nation, lodged its lawsuit after winning the support of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has 57 member states. Only a state can file a case against another state at the ICJ.
“The aim is to get Myanmar to account for its action against its own people: the Rohingya”, Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou told a news conference in The Hague, where the U.N. court is based.
The Rohingya should be treated as Myanmar nationals or be given a chance to form their own state, said Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said even though Malaysia generally does not wish to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, it does so in this case due to the massacre or genocide that is happening in Myanmar.
“Myanmar, of course, at one time was made up of many different states . . .
The Rohingya community in Thailand on Saturday urged visiting United Nations human rights expert Yanghee Lee to help improve their lot, as thousands of them in Myanmar have no legal status while many are still under detention.
Thousands of Rohingya have fled their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state to seek better lives in Thailand for decades but the Thai authorities have not granted them any legal status on the grounds that they are stateless people . . . .
A Rohingya girl recently wrote an emotional letter to a UN high official seeking the organization’s help in protecting tens of thousands of Rohingya children living in crowded makeshift camps in Bangladesh.
“They have nowhere to go. They have no place to call home. They have no proper clothes on their bodies. They have no shoes under their feet. They have no books to read. They have no schools to go (to),” Jamalida Rafique, who now lives in Ireland, wrote to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi.. . . . .
I am honoured to once again present my report to this Council on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. I have pointed out positive developments in Myanmar, as I have always done in the past, but sadly, more negative developments have emerged during the last reporting period. I take this opportunity now to provide some updates on issues raised in my report as well as to draw attention to some concerning new developments. For the sake of time, I will not repeat what I have said in my report. . . . .
It is now 18 months since the plight of the Rohingya hit the headlines, when the mass exodus of people from Myanmar peaked following an escalation in violence. Since August 2017, more than 706,000 people, mostly women and children, have fled for safety across the border into Bangladesh. Many had seen family members killed, have been shot, suffered burns or are survivors of sexual violence. . . .
The real and hidden crisis, during and in the aftermath of any conflict, displacement or natural disaster, is that women and girls are disproportionately exposed to sexual violence, increased loss of livelihoods and even their lives. After fleeing violence and discrimination in Myanmar these women and girls are now struggling to cope with the loss and trauma they have experienced, to stay safe in the camps and for basic survival . . .
Bangladesh has told the UN it cannot accept any more refugees from Myanmar, the first time the country has threatened to close its borders to Rohingya fleeing violence.
Bangladesh is now sheltering more than a million Myanmar refugees in camps, some 700,000 of whom have poured over the border in the past 18 months having fled a military-led crackdown in Rakhine state where thousands were killed, women were raped and villages razed.. . . .
In a vast convention center in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s sprawling and eerily empty capital, prospective investors listened politely as local companies pitched opportunities and government officials spoke of the country’s vast economic potential.
Yet in the hallways, conversations drifted toward one topic: A military-led crackdown that drove more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from the country, prompting allegations of genocide and threats of renewed economic penalties from the U.S. and European Union. . . .
Uncertainty over Rohingya repatriation is likely to stay as conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in Rakhine has escalated since early January, say experts.
The situation poses challenges for Bangladesh in handling the one million refugees in Cox's Bazar, especially as tension between the host communities and the Rohingyas, and the risk of Rohingya radicalisation are rising, amid a fund shortage.. . . . .
Over 700,000 Rohingya have been forcibly expelled from their ancestral lands in that country by a volatile mix of military aggression and religious persecution, with the country's government largely turning a blind eye or worse.
State-sponsored violence has led to a massive exodus of the Rohingya from the country, a great human wave of refugees who have no choice but to flee for their lives before the onslaught . . . .
TOMBRU, Bangladesh: Myanmar security forces have resumed loudspeaker broadcasts near its border with Bangladesh ordering Rohingya Muslims to immediately leave a strip of no-man's land between the two countries, refugees said on Sunday (May 20).
Around 6,000 refugees from the persecuted minority have been camping on the narrow stretch of land since fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar's west last August . . . .
Exhausted parents dragging toddlers through water and mud, babies carried in the arms of siblings little older than themselves, and horrifyingly tiny graves of children who did not survive the journey.
This is the confronting scene we witnessed in January at the Rohingya refugee settlements surrounding Cox’s Bazar on our visit to South-East Bangladesh as co-chairs of the parliamentary friends of Unicef.. . . .
Ursula Mueller, assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and deputy emergency relief coordinator, concluded her six-day mission to the country on Sunday. She visited several conflict-torn ethnic areas of Myanmar including western Rakhine state, northern Kachin state and northeastern Shan state.
“When you cut that humanitarian lifeline, there is a very real human impact,” she said. . . .
The writers insist that Buddhists must speak out about atrocities against the Rohingya, no matter how painful. “Like many around the world, we have been horrified by reports of widespread atrocities committed by Myanmar security forces ,” the letter says. “These have included mass rape, arson, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings that had included the sadistic murder and torture of young Rohingya children and infants . . .
Prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has joined the legal team representing two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar. A court in Yangon has been holding preliminary hearings since January to decide whether Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, will be charged under the colonial-era Officials Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison . . .
Human rights atrocities and potential war crimes have been stepped up against other Burmese minorities while the world has been distracted by the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, a new United Nations report has revealed . . .
U.N. chief Guterres said in a statement on Monday he was “shocked” at the comments, and urged “all leaders in Myanmar to take a unified stance against incitement to hatred and to promote communal harmony”. . .
WASHINGTON >> The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on companies across the globe to punish illicit trade with nuclear-armed North Korea, yet Myanmar, which is suspected of acquiring ballistic missile systems from the pariah state, has escaped the full force of the “maximum pressure” campaign . . .
Australia has told Myanmar that international observers must be allowed into the isolated Rakhine state to monitor the situation of Rohingya still living there, and to supervise the return of any of those who have fled and wish to come back. . .
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. adviser on preventing genocide said Tuesday that all information he has received indicates the Myanmar government intended to get rid of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state and possibly even destroy them “which, if proven, would constitute the crime of genocide”. . .
YANGON (Reuters) - Some international observers urged Myanmar on Wednesday not to drag out legal proceedings against two Reuters journalists, as they appeared in court for the 10th time since they were arrested in December and accused of possessing secret government papers . . .
Security forces have bulldozed houses and started constructing at least three new security facilities in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, said Amnesty International's Remaking Rakhine State report, which was published on Monday . . .
Sometimes Myanmar uses guns and machetes for ethnic cleansing, and that’s how Sono Wara earlier lost her mother and sister. But it also kills more subtly and secretly by regularly denying medical care and blocking humanitarian aid to Rohingya, and that’s why her twins are gone . . .
Aung Zaw Win, a major property tycoon and former MP for the Union Solidarity and Development party, was arrested at Yangon international airport on Wednesday as he was about to leave on a business trip to Bangkok . . .
MORE THAN 100 women were gang-raped. One was raped in front of people she loved and later killed. Even a woman eight months’ pregnant was raped.
Sultana Razia, a Rohingya teacher from Chittagong, exposed such atrocities perpetrated against her . . .
Barack Obama was determined to open up to Myanmar. Now the country’s military is slaughtering its most vulnerable ethnic group. Could the United States have prevented it? . . .
By NAHAL TOOSI March/April 2018
Dundee West MP Chris Law has said it is time for Myanmar leader Aun San Suu Kyi to be stripped of the freedom of the city over her country’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims . . .
Mr Law and other members of the International Development Committee were . . .
Myanmar has to take back the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh after ensuring their security and dignity, Deputy Assistant to US President Donald Trump Lisa Curtis says on March 3, 2018. In the Reuters file photo, Rohingya refugee children fly improvised kites at Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar . . .
Lisa Curtis, deputy assistant to US President Donald Trump and senior director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council at the White House, has lauded Bangladesh for its extensive humanitarian support to the persecuted Rohingya refugees from strife-torn Rakhine state of Myanmar . . .