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Instead of Protection, Bangladesh offers Myanmar military operation against Rohingya

By The Stateless Rohingya

Shameful acts of proposing the joint military campaign, blocking the border and failing to raise voice against mass atrocities against the Rohingya population

Bangladesh which shares more than 200 km of land boundary with Myanmar, has seen the repeated influxes of massive Rohingya Muslim community who face slow-genocidal campaigns in their home country over more than four decades.

As another campaign of mass atrocities takes place in the border regions since August 25, 2017, Bangladesh proposed to offer Myanmar military in a joint-military operation against the insurgency, who comes into the existence last year after continuous human rights violations and crimes against humanity face under Myanmar government.

Instead of providing protections to the persecuted community, the proposal of Bangladesh government indicates that the human rights and the lives of civilians do not matter when it comes to keeping a good inter-governmental relationship between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“Today, we summoned the CDA [Chargé d’affaires of Myanmar’s Embassy in Dhaka Aung Myint] again, and made a proposal [of] launching a joint military operation against the militant groups and terrorists in the frontiers. If the joint operation is conducted, the terrorists and militants would not be able to flee crossing the border,” said Manjurul Karim Khan Chowdhury, director general in charge of the Southeast Asia at the Bangladesh foreign ministry.

The proposal is highly condemnable and shameful in many senses.

It undermines the identity of Rohingya community and the insurgency’s struggle to seek justice and rights, by following the footsteps of Aung San Suu Kyi’s governmental instructions to Myanmar media to use “terrorists” when associating the Rohingya community.

Despite not resorting with arms having suffered tremendously until it reaches critical point of the clashes, the struggle of a handful number of Rohingya is quickly blamed and labelled as “terrorism”, which is expected as the global bias towards Muslims and Islamophobia is on the rise.

And also the proposal neglects the severe sufferings and the human rights abuses that the community faces, for which more than 500,000 of them are taking shelters in various squalid refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar District. More than 77,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh between October 2016 and July 2017 when Myanmar military launched the international well-condemned “clearance operations” against the Rohingya civilians, which account to “crimes against humanity”.

Following the clashes on August 25, a widespread human rights abuses are taking place, where more than 50 Rohingya villages are reportedly burnt down, mass killings are being committed including women and children, over 20,000 are currently stranded at the border waiting to receive protection from the neighbour country Bangladesh.

Instead of providing protections according to the international and the neighbour norms, the government of Bangladesh continues the shameful acts of proposing the joint military campaign, blocking the border and failing to raise voice against mass atrocities against the Rohingya population.