- Title: Rights group urges Myanmar to resolve hatred between commuities.
- Date: 10th December 2016
- Summary: KYEE YOE PYIN VILLAGE, MAUNGDAW, RAKHINE, MYANMAR (FILE - OCTOBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BURNED OUT MARKET IN KYEE YOE PYIN VILLAGE OUTSIDE MAUNGDAW VILLAGERS WALKING AROUND DEBRIS DEBRIS ON GROUND VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN DEBRIS VILLAGERS STANDING
- Embargoed: 25th December 2016 05:05
- Keywords: Myanmar Rohingya Human Rights day apartheid Muslims Buddhists Rakhine state
- Location: SITTWE, RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR
- City: SITTWE, RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR
- Country: Myanmar
- Reuters ID: LVA0025CAVB5X
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A rights group has urged Myanmar to resolve hatred between Buddhist and Muslim communities to mark Human Rights day on Saturday (December 10).
Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingyas have lived in apartheid-like conditions at an Internal Displaced People's camp in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, since the sectarian violence that killed hundreds in western Rakhine in 2012.
The persecution of the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, however, has been going on for years. It has forced hundreds of thousands to board flimsy boats and flee to neighbouring countries including Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia which, along with Myanmar, are all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
More than 100,000 Rohingya live in poverty and face harassment as illegal migrants in Malaysia. Many others have fallen into the hands of human traffickers on their perilous journeys from Myanmar.
Soldiers have poured into the area along Myanmar's border with Bangladesh and sealed it off in response to attacks on border posts on October 9, killing nine police officers. The government has blamed the attacks on Muslim militants.
Out of more than 150,000 people who were getting aid before the onset of the violence, only about 20,000 have got any since Oct. 9, under a partial resumption of deliveries, but some 130,000 have not been reached, the United Nations said.
"We have nothing to eat here. Our children are dying. We got support once in a month or two. How can we survive?" said 42 year-old Yawzi Rabiegun, a mother of five.
"We do not have good health care; we sleep in poor conditions. It is very hot and no good roads. We have nothing to eat. All the food aid we had is gone. Most of the families here cannot afford to cook rice now," said 65-year-old Noro Salam.
Equality Myanmar, a local NGO says the solution is to set aside differences between religions and races.
"National identity and human rights are the same issue. They are related issues, not opposite. We cannot accept when someone emphasises too much on national identity and disrespect on the other races. It's is not enough to take care of its own religion but threaten others," said Aung Myo Min, CEO of Equality Myanmar.
"Nobody will feel safe if there is hate between communities. Human Rights is when people live their lives with security. We cannot say there are human rights if there is hate between communities even though the government gives security to its citizens," Aung Myo Min added.
Nearly 22,000 Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since Nov. 1, the United Nations said in its latest update on the situation, adding that about 30,000 people are estimated to have been displaced and thousands more affected by the fighting.
Rohingya Muslims said Myanmar soldiers had raped or sexually assaulted dozens of women in a remote village in the northwest of the country during the biggest upsurge in violence against the persecuted minority in four years.
Aung San Suu Kyi's government has rejected accusations by residents and human rights monitors that soldiers have raped Rohingya Muslim women, burnt houses and killed civilians, although it has established a commission led by a former senior junta member to investigate the allegations.
Human Rights Watch has released satellite images showing Rohingya villages in Rakhine State that were allegedly burned down by soldiers.
Western nations are increasingly concerned at how Suu Kyi's government is dealing with violence in Myanmar's divided northwest, with the U.S. envoy to the United Nations privately warning fellow diplomats the country could not handle the crisis on its own.
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