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Humanitarian Crisis of Rohingya in Burma – New Briefing Paper

For Immediate Release 
13 December 2014

Humanitarian Crisis of Rohingya in Burma – New Briefing Paper

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK today publishes a new briefing paper examining the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, and calls upon the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to personally take the lead in negotiating unhindered international humanitarian access in Rakhine State. 

The new briefing paper examines how even before the latest wave of violence against the Rohingya in 2012, the Burmese government has systematically implemented laws and policies which are designed to impoverish and oppress the Rohingya, in order to try to drive them out of the country. 

The paper also examines the many different methods that are currently used by the Burmese government to restrict humanitarian access, and how policies are deliberately designed so that there can be an element of deniability by the central government. Taken together, however, these methods amount to a clear pattern and policy of obstruction of humanitarian assistance in line with the policy of making life for the Rohingya as unbearable as possible so that they leave the country. 

“Creating poverty and a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State is deliberate Burmese government policy,” said Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “What is happening in Rakhine State is nothing to do with previously repressed tensions. It is not communal violence and it is not a complicated issue which the Burmese government is struggling to deal with. The truth is that the Burmese government is the root cause of this problem.”

Senior UN officials have described the situation in the camps for 140,000 internally displaced Rohingya in Rakhine State as the worst they have seen. Despite this, there has not been the kind of high-level and concerted diplomatic effort that would be required to persuade the government of Burma to start to allow free and safe humanitarian access. 

“Low level quiet diplomacy isn’t going to bring about the major changes that would ensure proper humanitarian access in Rakhine State that is needed to save lives,” said Tun Khin. “Ban Ki-moon must personally take the lead in negotiating international humanitarian access, and governments worldwide should give him their support. A similar effort in 2008 after Cyclone Nargis succeeded in increasing humanitarian access.”

For more information contact Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, at 07888714866. Twitter: @tunkhin80.

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