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Anti-Rohingya campaign 'broadens targets'
Violence now aimed at Muslims in general, says rights group
- Mike MacLachlan, London
- November 2, 2012
The violence has been concentrated in Rakhine state, with the Rohingya Muslim community the main victims.
But Muslims generally, not only Rohingyas, are now facing attacks, Andrew Johnston, CSWâ€™s advocacy director, said in a statement yesterday.
The statement follows a report in the British newspaper The Observer, which said that many of those displaced last week when the town of Kyaukpyu was largely destroyed were not stateless Rohingyas but members of the officially recognized Kaman Muslim community.
â€śItâ€™s not just anti-Rohingya violence any more, itâ€™s anti-Muslim,â€ť it quoted Chris Lewa, director of a Rohingya advocacy group, Arakan Project, as saying.
CSW called on the United Nations to invoke the â€śresponsibility to protectâ€ť principle under which the UN has the right to intervene by â€śdiplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful meansâ€ť to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
In the past week, CSW said, thousands of homes in Rakhine state have been destroyed, hundreds of people killed and more than 100,000 displaced.
CSW accused â€śsome elements within the security forcesâ€ť of acting in collusion with mobs, attacking, killing and arresting Rohingyas. Muslim clerics have been arrested, it said.
â€śIt is widely believed that elements of the government are directing a policy to eliminate the Rohingyas,â€ť CSW said.
It urged the international community to put pressure on the government to allow international observers and humanitarian aid into the affected areas.
â€śThere is an urgent need for international action and aid to bring an end to this violence,â€ť said Johnston. The crisis posed â€śa serious threat to peace and democratizationâ€ť in Myanmar, he added.
Unregistered Rohingyas' aid blocked
Government blocks Muslim support group