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Rohingya group calls Suu Kyi 'partner in genocide'

Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi

Europe-based Rohingya advocacy group says Myanmar wants to wipe them out and take their land

By Sorwar Alam and Ayse Humeyra Atilgan
Anadolu Agency
September 15, 2017

ANKARA -- A Europe-based Rohingya group said Friday that Aung San Suu Kyi, state counsellor for Myanmar and Nobel Laureate, is supporting the "genocide" of Rohingya Muslims in her country.

Hla Kyaw, head of the European Rohingya Council, told Anadolu Agency in Ankara that Suu Kyi sits and watches, as “the army continues to burn houses and villages” in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.

Kyaw said the de-facto leader is "not only complicit [in] the genocide, she is [also] a partner in genocide." 

Suu Kyi has been under international pressure for being silent in the face of the latest atrocities in Rakhine state which, according to the UN, has forced around 400,000 people to flee to Bangladesh.

On Friday, UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said 36,000 Rohingya babies below one year old and 92,000 children below the age of five had arrived in Bangladesh. 

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

According to Bangladesh's government, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Kyaw said that the Rohingya community had supported Suu Kyi when she was put under house arrest by the military junta of Myanmar, during a greater part of the period between 1989 and 2010 -- something that made her an international symbol of peace and resistance. 

'They want to wipe us out'

“We protested in European cities for her release, because we hoped to breathe freely under her leadership, as she is daughter of General Aung San, the father of Myanmar’s independence.”

The Rohingya leader alleged that the state wanted to wipe them out from Rakhine.

“They have planned to put us in concentration camp. Their ultimate goal is to wipe us out, and then take our property and land.”

He said that the government and army had known everything about Arakan Rohingya Salavation Army (ARSA), a militant group, but chose not to take action against it.

“They needed them as an excuse for the mass killings in Rakhine, in the name of national security and fighting terrorism. They also wanted to mobilize public opinion against the Rohingya community.”

He said the Myanmar government had strong support from India and China, two countries which have commercial interests in the region.

“China has an oil and gas pipeline project, while India has a deep-sea project in the region,” he said.

'More than 4,000 deaths'

Kyaw rejected the official death toll of 400 given by Myanmar in the violence since Aug. 25.

“Some 4,500 to 5,000 people have died in the violence. This figure may increase, because many people die while crossing the Naf River. Many parents leave their children behind when they flee.”

He said it was easier for people in the Maungdaw township to escape to Bangladesh, as it is near the border.

In other areas like Buthidaung, the military blocks them from all side. People walk 10 to 15 days in the mountainous terrain to reach the border. Some reach the river at the border, only to figure out they do not have $30 to $60 needed to make the journey on a boat. Others have to cross an area planted with mines by the military.

He urged the international community, including the UN and EU, to put pressure on the Myanmar government to stop this genocide.

“They need to take a common action to stop this international crisis.”

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