News ID: 175988
Published: 0547 GMT January 18, 2017

OIC urges UN action to avoid genocide of Myanmar Muslims

OIC urges UN action to avoid genocide of Myanmar Muslims

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 Organization of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) special envoy to Myanmar.

The conflict, which has scores and an estimated 66,000 people fleeing into Bangladesh since it started in October 2016, is no longer an internal issue but of international concern, OIC Special Envoy to Myanmar Syed Hamid Albar said, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Syed Hamid said the OIC should seek UN intervention. His comments come ahead of a special OIC meeting called by Malaysia last Thursday to discuss measures to deal with the conflict affecting the Rohingya Muslim minority.

"We don't want to see another genocide like in Cambodia or Rwanda," Syed Hamid said in an interview ahead of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

"The international community just observed, and how many people died? We have lessons from the past, for us to learn from and see what we can do," he said.

The OIC represents 57 states and acts as the collective voice of the Muslim world.

Rohingya villagers and activists say Myanmar soldiers have hundreds of civilians, committed summary executions, raped Rohingya women and burned homes since military operations started in the north of Rakhine state on Oct. 9.

Authorities have limited access for aid workers and journalists to areas where the deaths occurred. Recent satellite images showed thousands of houses were burned.

Despite living in Myanmar for generations, an estimated one million Rohingya are barred from citizenship in the nation of 50 million, and instead live as some of the world's most persecuted people. More than 100,000 Rohingya are living in squalid internal displacement camps.

A Myanmar government spokesman said it will not attend the OIC meet as it is not an Islamic country, and that UN intervention would only end up facing "unwanted resistance from local people".

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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