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Turkey sends aid to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

By Halil Ibrahim Baser
February 20, 2017

IHH distributes food aid to 18,500 people displaced by violence in Rakhine state

ISTANBUL -- Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said Monday that it had delivered food to 18,500 displaced Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar this month.

The aid -- including rice, oil, beans, salt and spices -- was distributed in Sittwe and Buthidaung in Rakhine state.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled their homes in Rakhine since October, when Myanmar's military launched a crackdown that has attracted severe international criticism of its brutality.

Around 100,000 people had been displaced due to oppression and the military violence, IHH Southeast Asia Desk's Mucahit Demir said in a statement. “Over 75,000 people had to settle in and around Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar region, which is also known as the worst camp in the world.

“Nearly 30,000 people had to relocate within Rakhine due to oppression and villages being burnt down. Hundreds of thousands of our Rohingya brothers and sisters have become needy since then.

“As IHH, we care especially about the distribution of food and basic necessities that we initiate as emergency aid and plan to continue aid with support from donors,” Demir said.

Rohingya have fled Rakhine -- one of the poorest states in Myanmar -- in droves for decades, with a new wave of migrations occurring since mid-2012 after communal violence broke out between ethnic Buddhists and the Muslim minority -- described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted groups.

Security forces have been accused of gang-rape, killings, beatings, disappearances and burning villages in the Maungdaw area of northern Rakhine since October.

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