At least 18,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the violence and crossed into Bangladesh in less than a week
Members of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority wait to enter the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, photo: AP/Mushfiqul Alam
30 of August 2017 17:59:25
BANGKOK – Several hundred Buddhist nationalists, including monks, rallied in Myanmar's largest city on Wednesday to urge stronger action against insurgents from the Muslim Rohingya minority for attacks on police last week.The attacks in Rakhine state in western Myanmar have spiraled into chaotic violence, with more than 100 dead and villages torched.At least 18,000 Rohingya have fled the violence and crossed into Bangladesh in less than a week, with hundreds stranded in a no man's land at the countries' border, the International Organization for Migration said.The army, responding to last Thursday's attacks, launched what it called clearance operations against the insurgents, but advocates for the Rohingya say they are attacking and burning Rohingya villages, shooting civilians and causing others to flee.
The government blames Rohingya insurgents and their sympathizers for the continuing violence. Government figures put the death toll since last week at a minimum of 103, including 12 members of security forces, 77 people described as insurgents and 14 civilians. There were reports of additional deaths Wednesday.Rohingya advocates fear the death toll for civilians is much higher.Most of Myanmar's estimated 1 million Rohingya live in northern Rakhine state. They face severe persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, which refuses to recognize them as a legitimate native ethnic minority, leaving them without citizenship and basic rights.Longstanding tension between the Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists erupted in bloody rioting in 2012. That set off a surge of anti-Muslim feeling throughout the country.[caption id="attachment_72264" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Wirathu, a leader of nationalist Buddhist monks, renowned for his anti-Muslim sermons arrive at rally of Myanmar Buddhist nationalists, who demand wider powers to Myanmar military to crackdown on Muslim Rohingya militants in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Aug. 30,2017. Photo: AP[/caption]Wirathu, a Buddhist monk and leader of the anti-Muslim movement who is known for virulent sermons, told Wednesday's protesters in Yangon that only the military can control the situation in northern Rakhine.He criticized the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi for not responding quickly to the army's call Tuesday for a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, which could declare a state of emergency in Rakhine and give the military absolute authority to enforce it. The military holds a majority on the council, which was created by the 2008 military-drafted constitution."Only the military's commander in chief can protect the lives and the properties of the people," Wirathu said. "The military is the only one that can give a lesson to tame the Bengali terrorists."
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar were forced to seek refuge in Bangladesh due to renewed violence. So who are the Rohingya? pic.twitter.com/xVlzj2tQEo— TRT World (@trtworld) 30 de agosto de 2017