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28 NGOs urge global action to stop Rohingya displacement by Myanmar’s Buddhist armed group
Buddhist ethnic insurgent group Arakan Army has ordered Rohingya to evacuate Buthidaung downtown, where 2017 genocide survivors live, using directive with threats, violence, and arson, they say in joint statement

Twenty-eight non-governmental organizations representing Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim refugees from Rakhine State on Wednesday urged the international community to prevent an ethnic armed militia group based in the same region on the country’s western coast from committing human rights violations by forcing people to flee.

These NGOs, including the Free Rohingya Coalition and Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK), issued a joint statement urging the international community to put pressure on the Arakan Army, a predominantly Buddhist ethnic armed group, to end mass forced displacement and human rights violations against Rohingya communities in Rakhine.

They called for international humanitarian assistance following a surge in violence and forced displacement in Rakhine State.

β€œThousands of Rohingya are displaced without food, shelter, or medical care. Immediate international intervention is crucial to prevent starvation and disease,” they said.

According to the statement, the armed group has ordered Rohingya residents to evacuate Buthidaung downtown, where one-third of survivors of the 2017 genocide live, by May 18, using the directive with threats, violence, and arson.

They urged the international community to ensure the safe delivery of aid to all affected areas, including those controlled by the armed group, stressing Bangladesh to open its borders for humanitarian assistance into northern Rakhine.

The statement also called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN bodies to investigate the crisis, gather evidence for possible prosecutions, and then report it publicly.

They also pressed the UK to convene a UN Security Council meeting to address the situation and compel the private militia to halt abuses.

They also condemned Myanmar’s military’s “divide-and-rule tactics,” which included forcibly recruiting Rohingya men and inciting ethnic tensions, stressing Rakhine’s diverse communities to engage in a united dialogue to promote peaceful coexistence and equitable development.

β€œThe international community was warned about what could happen and failed to act. We have been here before. Now is the time for bold action,” they said.

Some 600,000 members of the mostly Muslim ethnic group remain in the state, while more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women, and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

They have been residing in congested refugee camps in Bangladesh’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar.

The Arakan Army suspended a cease-fire agreement in November last year that had been in place since the February 2021 military coup.

Rohingya Vision News