Pope laments "persecutions" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Between 1991 and 1992, almost 250,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh amid grave human rights violations such as rape, forced labor, and religious persecution.

The European Rohingya Council (ERC) on Sunday voiced concern over the plight of Rohingya population following the attacks in Myanmar's Rakhine state. The government of Myanmar - does not recognize the citizenship or the ethnic minority status of the Rohingya.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has asked the home affairs ministry to withdraw its advisory on deportation of Rohingya Muslims.

Around 2,000 people have been able to cross into Bangladesh since Friday, according to estimates by Rohingya refugees living in the makeshift camps in Bangladesh.

Deadly attacks on border posts in western Myanmar's Rakhine state broke out on Friday, resulting in mass civilian casualties, leaving over 100 dead. Police said some of those detained had entered Bangladesh via the Ghumdhum border area, where Myanmar forces are now engaged in an operation against armed militias.

What happened in October?

The weekend's flashpoints could be the beginning of another mass exodus of Rohingya, a group which rights groups say have been persecuted by Myanmar authorities for decades.

The UNHCR has seen at least 3,000 new arrivals to their official camps in the last 72 hours, UNHCR Bangladesh's Joseph Surjamoni said.

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize victor from her years of nonviolent opposition to junta rule, has faced a chorus of worldwide criticism over the continued plight of the Rohingya.

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A news site, K-Inform, initially reported that three men in masks had attacked pedestrians with knives , an ax and firearms. Identified by authorities as a 19-year-old Surgut resident, the attacker was brought down by police after resisting arrest.

In recent months the day-to-day fighting died down, but civilians described being trapped between army "clearance operations" and an assassination campaign by the militants, who are murdering anyone suspected of collaboration.

It also proposed a joint security campaign to drive out Rohingya militants from the Rakhina state of Myanmar.

The International Crisis Group says Ata Ullah was born to Rohingya parents in the Pakistani city of Karachi and grew up in Mecca.

Rakhine has been the scene of communal violence since 2012.

"First they burn, then they shoot, then it is more organised and they go and arrest people", she said adding she was receiving reports of properties ablaze in many different parts of the region. They declared them a terrorist organisation over the weekend.

A Rohingya insurgent group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) took responsibility for Thursday night's attacks on more than 25 locations, saying they were in defense of Rohingya communities that had been brutalized by government forces. The October ambushes were largely done with swords, sticks and a few firearms, some of them homemade-though they did make off with stolen guns and ammunition. The captured weapons were shown in photos posted online by the government.

What's Suu Kyi doing about it?

Her administration has dismissed concerns about rights abuses and refused to grant visas to United Nations officials tasked with investigating such allegations.

In 2016, Myanmar's state counsellor and celebrated political leader Aung San Suu Kyi appointed former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to head an advisory commission on the issue. Since 1994, they have not received their birth certificates from the state.