Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Pope Francis to Meet With Myanmar Leaders Amid Rohingya Exodus

Pope Francis to Meet With Myanmar Leaders Amid Rohingya Exodus

He said the dossier of the Muslim minority tops the Kingdom's priorities in view of the plight of the Rohingya Muslim population who suffered from inhumane suppression and forcible deportation and their citizenship rights were usurped by Rangoon government.

Myanmar's ruling party has held an interfaith rally to promote religious harmony as thousands of Rohingya Muslims continue to flee persecution in northern Rakhine state.

The agreement, approved by European Union ambassadors and set to be signed off at a meeting of foreign ministers on Monday, said the rapid flight of so many people "strongly indicates a deliberate action to expel a minority".

The EU now bans the export of arms and equipment that can be used for "internal repression", but said it "may consider additional measures" if the crisis does not improve.

"Our ask of Aung San Suu Kyi is certainly to immediately stop the violence", Jyoti Sanghera, head of the Asia and Pacific region of the United Nations human rights office, told a briefing held to present its report on the army campaign against Rohingya in northern Rakhine state.

On August 25, a Rohingya insurgent group staged a series of attacks on police and army posts in Rakhine state, to which the Myanmar military responded with an offensive which is ongoing. He has also described the systematic attacks and widespread burning of villages as "textbook ethnic cleansing".

"Efforts were taken to effectively erase signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognisable terrain", it added.

Young girls were raped by men "all dressed in army uniforms" in front of their families, civilians shot at close range or in the back as they fled, and people burned alive, the report said.

But the probe found that the latest wave of military "clearance operations" in Rakhine actually began before that date, possibly in early August, contradicting government claims that the crackdown was a response to militant strikes.

Rohingya children cross the Bangladesh-Myanmar border fence as they try to enter Bangladesh in Bandarban.

KSRelief Cetnre also intends to establish refugee camp projects in Kuala Lumpur to meet the needs of Rohingya refugees there.

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