Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi visited areas hit by conflict in the western state of Rakhine on Thursday for the first time since attacks by militants from the Rohingya Muslim minority two months ago sparked a refugee crisis.
The Rakhine State government is set to close down, by 2 November, temporary camps for internally displaced persons affected by the most recent violence to plague the state, insisting that calm has been restored at their original places of residence.
In this episode aired on 27 August, DVB Debate takes up the contentious issues surrounding political and inter-religious dynamics in Arakan State, and discusses why the state’s problems have so captured the international community’s attention.
It’s difficult to read the accounts of alleged human rights violations by the Burmese military against Rohingya Muslims of Arakan State, but those who fled to Bangladesh are describing what has happened because they want help. They want the world to act.
Burma’s military has launched an internal probe into the conduct of soldiers during a counteroffensive that has sent more than half a million Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, many saying they witnessed killings, rape and arson by troops.
Aung San Suu Kyi announces the creation of yet another body with the challenging portfolio of improving the situation in crisis-stricken Arakan State, saying it would include a broad spectrum of actors, both domestic and foreign.
Rohingya Muslim villagers cut off from food and threatened by Buddhist neighbours in Burma’s violence-wracked Arakan State received their first substantial food supplies in months on Wednesday after international pressure on the government to help.
Speaking at an interfaith gathering, the head of the Rangoon archdiocese denounced the international community’s criticism of Burma over the ongoing Arakan crisis and asked for international support as the country works to resolve the issues blighting its westernmost state.
A top Burmese official appealed on Monday for democracy in the country to be given “a chance to survive” amid international anger over a military campaign against Rohingya Muslims that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.
Two senior Burmese government officials have delivered aid to a remote Rohingya Muslim village, and guaranteed residents’ safety, after they were cut off and threatened by hostile Arakanese Buddhist neighbours, one of the officials said.