Rohingya ‘extremists’ trying to build stronghold – Myanmar army


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionHeavy monsoons are adding to the misery in the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

Myanmar’s top general has blamed Rohingya people for the crisis that has led to hundreds of thousands crossing into Bangladesh.

Gen Min Aung Hlaing said the Rohingya “has never been an ethnic group”, and accused “extremists” of trying to form a stronghold in northern Rakhine state.

His army is accused of targeting civilians in an offensive there, forcing Rohingya to flee.

Myanmar denies this, and says it is responding to deadly militant attacks.

The UN has warned that offensive against the Rohingya – most of whom are Muslims, while Myanmar is 90% Buddhist – could amount to ethnic cleansing.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWatch: Who are the Rohingya?

On Saturday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had “a last chance” to halt the army offensive before the situation becomes “absolutely horrible”.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Gen Min Aung Hlaing urged people and the media in Myanmar to unite over the “issue” of the Rohingya.

He said the military operation began after 93 clashes with “extremist Bengalis” – referring to Rohingya militants – that began on 25 August.

The violence, he added, was an organised attempt to build a stronghold in Rakhine state.

“They have demanded recognition as Rohingya, which has never been an ethnic group in Myanmar. (The) Bengali issue is a national cause and we need to be united in establishing the truth,” his post said.

Rohingya militants did attack police posts in northern Rakhine on 25 August, killing 12 security personnel.

But Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since then say the military responded with a brutal campaign, burning villages and attacking civilians in a bid to drive them out.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Bangladesh plans to restrict the movement of Rohingya who have fled Myanmar

The army’s defence comes amid condemnation of the violence from across the world.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace laureate who spent years under house arrest in junta-run Myanmar (Burma but has played a key political role since her party won democratic polls in 2015. She is now facing growing criticism over the Rohingya issue.

On Sunday, UN chief Antonio Guterres urged her to stop the offensive in her address to the nation on Tuesday, warning that if she failed to so, “I don’t see how this can be reversed in the future”.

Speaking to the BBC’s HARDtalk programme, the secretary general said it was clear that Myanmar’s military “still have the upper hand” in the country.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAntonio Guterres told the BBC he feared an ‘absolutely horrible’ tragedy

Aung San Suu Kyi will not be attending the UN General Assembly in New York, and has claimed that the crisis is being distorted by a “huge iceberg of misinformation”.

She said tensions were being fanned by fake news promoting the interests of terrorists.

Bangladesh recently announced it was limiting the movement of more than 400,000 Rohingya who have fled from Myanmar.

Bangladesh also announced plans to build shelters for up to 400,000 people near the city of Cox’s Bazar.

Image caption The violence has been concentrated in Myanmar’s Rakhine area

The Rohingya, a stateless minority, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants.

View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41300247

Some who fled from Rakhine state told the BBC earlier this month about killings, rape and even massacres, while inside Rakhine, a BBC crew witnessed charred homes inside Rakhine.

In the same category are

Paperchase ‘sorry’ for Daily Mail offer Stationery company Paperchase has apologised for a promotional giveaway in the Daily Mail after it was criticised for working with the paper.The cha...
London loses key EU agency to Amsterdam Image copyright Getty Images Amsterdam has won a vote to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which will relocate from London after the UK leave...
US declares North Korea ‘sponsor of terror’ Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Trump has reversed the decision made by former president George W Bush in 2008 President Trump has announced ...
Merkel ‘prefers new vote’ after talks fail Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGerman chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said it was a day of "deep reflection" for Germa...
Muckamore Abbey Hospital: Four staff members suspended Image caption The hospital cares for adults with an intellectual disability, behavioural or mental health problems Four staff members have been su...
What next for Robert and Grace? Image copyright AFP Image caption Robert Mugabe has led Zimbabwe for 37 years Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party is planning to support impeachment p...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook


Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….

 

If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles

 

Comment on this story