'Almost Genocidal': Hundreds Dead in Myanmar Clashes

UN agencies barred from providing aid
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2017 11:41 AM CDT
People protest against the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority, in Islamabad, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
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(Newser) – The United Nations is warning about a possible humanitarian crisis after increased violence against a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar. With the government claiming the Rohingya people are migrants from Bangladesh with no citizenship rights, security forces in the country have killed hundreds and destroyed their villages, reports the New York Times. More than 120,000 Rohingya people have fled the country for Bangladesh in the last two weeks as a result. Another 400,000 Rohingya are trapped in conflict zones in western Myanmar, reports the Guardian. More:

  • Eleven Nobel Peace Prize Laureates "warned of the potential for genocide" in Myanmar in an open letter last year. The recent rise in violence came in response to Rohingya militants killing 12 security forces in an attack on a military base late last month.
  • The Myanmar military says it responded by killing 370 Rohingya fighters, but the exact death toll remains unclear. The AP reports more than 400 have been killed, while the Times notes 46 Rohingya died last week while trying to cross a river separating Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • Those who've escaped alive describe helicopters raining gunfire on western Myanmar's Rakhine State, where 1 million Rohingya people live and have lived for centuries.

  • The Guardian reports UN agencies, accused by the government on conspiring with the Rohingya, are barred from delivering aid. The move not only shows "a callous disregard for human life" but puts Rakhine State "on the precipice of a humanitarian disaster," says Amnesty International.
  • The European Union has demanded full humanitarian access in Myanmar. It also promised Tuesday to provide aid in Bangladesh, where border camps are already bursting, per the AP. The BBC says 35,000 people have arrived in the last 24 hours.
  • In response to the "deadly exodus," Migrant Offshore Aid Station, which has helped some 40,000 refugees reach Europe since 2014, has also moved operations from the Libyan coast to the Bay of Bengal.
  • Editors at the Guardian, who describe Myanmar's actions as "almost genocidal," point out the "horrible irony" in the involvement of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • The Times explains why Suu Kyi—grilled by fellow laureate Malala Yousafzai on Twitter on Monday, per the AP—will keep her peace prize no matter the outcome.
(Read more Myanmar stories.)

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