Current News

ERC Appeals for UN Intervention and Observers in Arakan, Burma

Almost one million Rohingya Muslims are living in a dire situation throughout Arakan State.

(LONDON) – We are deeply concerned over the reports that Bengali Rakhines had started attacks on Rohingya Muslims and Kaman Muslims yet again in Minbya Township and Myauk U Townships on October 21, 2012. At least four villages were burnt down and scores of people killed. Exact casualty report is not available at the moment. Burmese security forces did nothing to prevent these attacks. Nor they tried to protect these vulnerable and helpless Rohingya and Kaman Muslims. Government had claimed that Arakan State is coming into normalcy but in reality the situation is
becoming more gravely day after day. These atrocities were being committed under the open eyes of the security forces. Confirmed reports indicate that Bengali Rakhines are trying to spread this violence across the whole Arakan State.

Arakan State government and President Thein Sein’s central government is doing nothing to prevent these atrocities on Rohingya Muslims. Racist Bengali Rakhines were given license to kill Muslims, burn their houses and loot their properties, rape under minor girls and women. Even security forces are committing such crimes every day. So Rohingya Muslims have no confidence in Burmese security forces since they are fully collaborating with the Bengali Rakhine vigilantes.

Almost one million Rohingya Muslims are living in a dire situation throughout Arakan State. In Sittwe Township Aung Mingalar is the only Muslim quarter remaining in downtown. All other Muslim quarters were burnt down and all their residents were herded to temporary shelters. Bengali Rakhines are continuously trying to drive Aung Mingalar residents to the camps situated at the outskirt of Sittwe Township. Monks and Bengali Rakhines have openly demonstrated to drive them out and they are also demanding the segregation of Muslims and Buddhists in Arakan State setting a new precedent for apartheid. Bengali Rakhines and monks also tried to torch historical main mosque of Sittwe after the incident in neighboring Bangladesh as a retaliatory action. They have desecrated many sacred books belonged to the mosque. They also tried to burn Maung Daw main mosque. We request Bangladesh government to open a proper channel with Burmese government and try to solve Rohingya crisis.

Every now and then, Bengali Rakhines and radical monks hold meetings and issue warning to the Buddhist population that sell goods to Muslims or do business and deal with Muslims. Anyone who disobeys will meet severe punishment. Rohingyas are totally isolated in the whole Arakan State. Rakhine Bengalis and Monks also block flow of food and medical supplies to the Rohingya areas. They even block aid agencies from reaching Rohingyas. Finally even Burmese government bowed to the demand of some radical monks to bar OIC from opening liaison Offices in Sittwe and Yangon to supervise aid supplies to both effected communities. According to our information children and senior peoples are dying every day due to the lack of food and medical supplies. In such condition death by starvation is imminent for the entire Rohingya population.

We would like to earnestly request UN, EU, USA, UK, OIC and ASEAN countries to urgently call for an emergency meeting of United Nations Security Council and deploy international peace keeping force and observers in Arakan State to prevent the further loss of lives and property of Rohigya and Kaman Muslims.

We observed that international community had ignored all previous pleas made by Rohingya community around the world to deploy UN peace keeping force in Arakan State. If international community has no intention to deploy UN peace keeping force, it can at least implement what President Thein Sein had once told to the head of UNHCR; to place all Rohingya Muslims in camps under the supervision of UNHCR where they can have food and health care for survival and later resettle them to third countries. Whatever you do, please do it as soon as possible to save one million Rohingya Muslims from extinction.

Secretary General
The European Rohingya Council (ERC)