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Rohingya insurgents declare temporary ceasefire amid humanitarian crisis

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rooster59    2,264

Rohingya insurgents declare temporary ceasefire amid humanitarian crisis

By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Krishna N. Das

 

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Rohingya refugees climb up a hill after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

 

BANGKOK/COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Rohingya insurgents declared a month-long unilateral ceasefire, starting on Sunday, to enable aid groups to help ease a humanitarian crisis in northwest Myanmar.

 

Nearly 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced inside Myanmar after the military launched a counter-offensive following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents on 30 police posts and an army base on Aug. 25.

 

"ARSA strongly encourages all concerned humanitarian actors resume their humanitarian assistance to all victims of the humanitarian crisis, irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the ceasefire period," ARSA said in a statement.

 

The impact of the move is unclear. The group does not appear to have been able to put up significant resistance against the military force unleashed in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state. In the last two weeks, thousands of homes have been burned down, dozens of villages uprooted and thousands of people are still on the move towards the border with Bangladesh.

 

The wave of hungry and traumatised refugees pouring into Bangladesh has strained aid agencies and local communities already helping hundreds of thousands displaced by previous waves of violence in Myanmar.

 

In its statement, ARSA called on the military to also lay down arms and allow humanitarian aid to all affected people.

 

Myanmar says its security forces are carrying out clearance operations to defend against ARSA, which the government has declared a terrorist organisation.

 

Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say the army and Rakhine Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign of arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.

 

HELP FOR BANGLADESH

 

On Friday, the United Nations in Bangladesh found tens of thousands of refugees who had not been counted before, raising the count to 270,000 from some 164,000 the day before. On Saturday, that jumped by another 20,000 to 290,000.

 

On Saturday, thousands of Rohingya were milling on the road near the camp of Kutapalong, carrying bamboo and tarpaulin to build shacks. Children and women flocked to every stopping vehicle, begging.

 

Aid workers say a serious humanitarian crisis is also unfolding on the Myanmar side of the border.

 

Red Cross organizations are scaling up their operations in Rakhine after the United Nations had to suspend activities there following government suggestions that its agency had supported the insurgents. The United Nations evacuated non-critical staff from the area.

 

Thousands of displaced people in Rakhine have been stranded or left without food for weeks. Many are still trying to cross mountains, dense bush and rice fields to reach Bangladesh.

 

"The U.N. and INGOs have not been very welcome in Rakhine and...they are not able to operate and ensure the safety and security of their staff and volunteers," said Joy Singhal of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

 

The government had invited the Red Cross to assist them, he said.

 

Aid workers worry many Rohingya had been left without food since mid-July, when the World Food Programme (WFP), which had been providing food and cash assistance, was unable to operate.

 

The government said it would set up camps for internally displaced people in Rakhine but the move could draw opposition from U.N. humanitarian experts.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-10

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scorecard    8,608

 

Why isn't the UN on top of this, and why hasn't the UN, over all the decades of it's existence fixed the issue of stateless people?

 

IMHO lots of folks, the Nobel prize winner included, and the various groups involved are criminally derelict to allow this situation to ever happen. Yes there are faults all round but just look at the photos, nobody, and especially little children should be subjected to this circumstance.

 

These people are human beings, they are entitled to be shown some basic human respect and provided whatever help is needed to get them into a much better humane and stable situation.  

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phuketrichard    2,463

amazing that the word has to sit by and watch a group of people slaughtered and forced to leave their land, because the goverment claims its a "internal "problem

 

 

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NeoDinosaw    14
43 minutes ago, phuketrichard said:

amazing that the word has to sit by and watch a group of people slaughtered and forced to leave their land, because the goverment claims its a "internal "problem

 

 

This situation is similar to what happened about 200 years ago.  The Burmese army fought the indigenous muslims who were rebelling after the conquest of their territory by the Burmese at the end of the 18th century..

 

Bangladesh was then a British colony called Bengal, and part of the Indian Empire.  Whilst it was perfectly allowable for a government to commit atrocities against its people (a right enshrined in the UN Charter I think), It was not permitted for the troops of one country to enter another country.  The Burmese army made the mistake of entering Bengal to go after the 'rebels',  and this was one of the reasons for the First Burma War and the ensuing loss of Arakan and Tenasserim in 1825.   

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Kiwiken    730
59 minutes ago, phuketrichard said:

amazing that the word has to sit by and watch a group of people slaughtered and forced to leave their land, because the goverment claims its a "internal "problem

 

 

Same problem as the Refugee migrants to Europe and those illegally to the USA people escaping poverty or oppression. We only want to build walls why should the Burmese just mine theirs. This situation is no different . Solving this would mean looking at our own back yards

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phantomfiddler    3,471

Very smart move, declaring a ceasefire, since multiple attacks on police stations generally fail to garner sympathy for those doing the attacking !

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Morch    6,403
9 hours ago, scorecard said:

 

Why isn't the UN on top of this, and why hasn't the UN, over all the decades of it's existence fixed the issue of stateless people?

 

IMHO lots of folks, the Nobel prize winner included, and the various groups involved are criminally derelict to allow this situation to ever happen. Yes there are faults all round but just look at the photos, nobody, and especially little children should be subjected to this circumstance.

 

These people are human beings, they are entitled to be shown some basic human respect and provided whatever help is needed to get them into a much better humane and stable situation.  

 

The UN got limited resources, and is currently dealing with similar issues elsewhere (ME being a prime example). There is no independent UN standing army to go in and sort things. The UN cannot "be on top" of issues, or fix them, without active participation and goodwill of members.

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khounteen    76

The crux of the matter is that if you have a gang of people making demands and attacking your people and police stations, what would you do? I will flatten them all. These people do not assimilate nor blend into the burmese society, they keep to their own community, how the hell do you expect the Burmese government to accept them especially now that they are infiltrated by terrorists.

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BANGKOK 25 September 2017 22:19
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