Myanmar's Navy will join maritime drills with the US in Southeast Asia next week, a spokesman said Wednesday, in a rare show of military cooperation despite Washington slapping sanctions on top army brass over the Rohingya crisis.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees marked the second anniversary of their displacement from Myanmar into Bangladesh by rallying, crying and praying Sunday as they demanded that Myanmar grant them citizenship and other rights before they agree to return.
When Myanmar officials toured refugee camps in Bangladesh last month, inviting Rohingya Muslims who fled the country to return, they brought with them pamphlets adorned with cartoons showing hijab-wearing women passing through checkpoints and happily grasping identity cards.
More than 2,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes, and 19 have been killed, since fighting broke out between government troops and ethnic insurgents in northern Myanmar last week, government officials said.
Security forces in Myanmar have killed an international aid worker in the country’s western Rakhine State, a troubled region where state-sponsored violence has targeted minority Muslims and the military has been cracking down on rebellious Buddhists.
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh refuse to return to Myanmar unless they are recognized as an ethnic group in their home country, leaders told visiting Myanmar officials on Sunday as fresh repatriation talks started.
Myanmar security forces and insurgents are committing human rights violations against civilians in restive western states that may amount to fresh war crimes, a United Nations investigator said on Tuesday.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has failed to condemn member state Myanmar for its massive purge of Rohingya Muslims from the country despite calls from rights campaigners and other members that the massacres and atrocities against the minority group should not go unnoticed.