- Title: OIC envoy calls for U.N. intervention to avoid genocide of Rohingya Muslims
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (JANUARY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS ISLAMIC RENAISSANCE FRONT CHAIRMAN AND DIRECTOR AHMAD FAROUK MUSA SITTING DURING INTERVIEW AHMAD FAROUK LISTENING TO QUESTION HAND GESTURES (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISLAMIC RENAISSANCE FRONT CHAIRMAN AND DIRECTOR, AHMAD FAROUK MUSA SAYING: "If you look at the history of the Bosnian war and it was after the intervention by OIC by forcing the United Nations to take more stern action against the Serbs and to relieve the arms embargo upon Bosnia that the war has managed to be stopped. And I believe that if there was such an action from OIC right now, there is a possibility that we could end atrocities and the persecution among the Rohingyas in Burma."
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 05:42
- Keywords: Malaysia Muslim Rohingya Myanmar workers Islam
- Location: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- City: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- Country: Malaysia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0025ZLXB9H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United Nations should intervene in Myanmar's Rakhine State to stop further escalation of violence against Rohingya Muslims and avoid another genocide like in Cambodia and Rwanda, said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's special envoy to Myanmar.
The conflict which has left at least 86 dead and an estimated 66,000 people fleeing into Bangladesh since it started on October 9, 2016, is no longer an internal issue but of international concern, said Syed Hamid Albar, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Special Envoy to Myanmar.
His comments came ahead of a special OIC meeting called by Malaysia on Thursday (January 19) to discuss measures to deal with the conflict affecting the Rohingya minority, who are predominantly Muslim.
"We don't want to see another genocide like the one in Cambodia or Rwandha. The international community just observed how many million people die? In Cambodia how many million people die? And Srebrenica, UN was there just observing slaughter you know. So all these things show that we have got lessons from the past for us to learn from and then see what we can do," he said.
The OIC represents 57 states and acts as the collective voice of the Muslim world.
Refugees, residents and human rights groups say Myanmar soldiers have committed summary executions, raped Rohingya women and burned homes since military operations started in the north of Rakhine State on October 9.
The government of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied the accusations, saying many of the reports are fabricated, and it insists the strife in Rakhine State, where many Rohingya live, is an internal matter.
The military operations were in response to attacks on security posts near Myanmar's border with Bangladesh that killed nine police officers. The Myanmar government has said that militants with overseas Islamist links were responsible.
"So the recent events have shown that the Rohingya community needs protection and the sense of feeling that the they are part and parcel of Myanmar's citizenry. So I think it's quite normal for OIC to say in its statement, to say that, first: give them their citizenship back," Syed Hamid added.
Other groups such as the Islamic Renaissance Front are also calling for an UN intervention in Myanmar.
"If you look at the history of the Bosnian war and it was after the intervention by OIC by forcing the United Nations to take more stern action against the Serbs and to relieve the arms embargo upon Bosnia that the war has managed to be stopped. And I believe that if there was such an action from OIC right now, there is a possibility that we could end atrocities and the persecution among the Rohingyas in Burma," said Islamic Renaissance Front Chairman And Director, Ahmad Farouk Musa.
A Myanmar government spokesman said it will not attend the OIC meet as it is not an Islamic country, but that it had already made its actions clear to ASEAN members at their last meeting in December, and that U.N. intervention would only end up facing "unwanted resistance from local people".
About 56,000 Rohingya now live in Muslim-majority Malaysia having fled previous unrest in Myanmar.
Malaysia, which is Southeast Asia's third-largest economy, broke the tradition of non-intervention by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by speaking out on the conflict, calling on the 10-member bloc to coordinate humanitarian aid and investigate alleged atrocities committed against the ethnic group.
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