SA calls for an end to violence in Myanmar

Friday, September 29, 2017

The South African government has called for swift action to prevent further instability for the thousands of Rohingyas from Myanmar.

In a statement on Friday, Cabinet said it is concerned about the plight of Rohingya civilians, who have fled their homes in Myanmar.

The Rohingya people are denied citizenship under a 1982 Myanmar citizenship law. The Myanmar government recognises them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. They were brought by the British from Bangladesh during the colonial era years as workers and settlers, since Britiain controlled Bangladesh and Myanmar back then.

Since the beginning of the latest backlash in August, the United Nations has reported that at least 500 000 civilians have fled their homes in the country’s northern Rakhine state and sought refuge in Bangladesh.

According to UN estimates, some 94% of them are members of the minority Muslim Rohingya community.

There have also been reports of burning of Muslim villages, as well as looting and acts of intimidation.

Authorities in Myanmar have indicated that at least 176 of 471 Muslim villages in northern Rakhine have been totally abandoned.

“Cabinet urges all parties to end the violence to avoid further human suffering and appeals that the situation in the Rakhine State be resolved within the ambit of the law,” Cabinet said.  

South Africa said it supports the statement by UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who emphasised the responsibility of the government of Myanmar to provide security to all affected communities. He further requested for humanitarian agencies to be granted access to communities in need of assistance and protection. -

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