United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said “we are facing a risk, I hope we don’t get there”.Muslim Rohingya are an ethnic and religious minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Australia’s Rohingya community has rallied in Sydney and Melbourne, urging greater international intervention against military attacks on the ethnic minority in Myanmar.
The Refugee Council of Australia has called on the federal government to consider a special resettlement program.At least 400 people have been killed, while some reports, as yet unconfirmed, say the death toll could be in the thousands.
More than 100,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. There are also reports the military has laid landmines behind fleeing refugees to stop them returning.
Muslim Rohingya are an ethnic and religious minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. For decades they have faced systemic and extreme persecution at the hands of the military government, which refuses to recognise them as citizens or allow them to vote.
Outside the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Sydney on Thursday, Rohingya living in Australia pleaded with the federal government to do more to end the current violence.
“The Myanmar government is not even listening to anybody about this. The whole world is disappointed by Aung San Suu Kyi’s inaction. She’s suffered for the cause of freedom, but now, her silence is an agreement with what the government is doing.”
The Amnesty International Australia president, Gabe Kavanagh, said the international community needed to protect the Rohingya minority from the Myanmarese military.
“They are burning homes and communities, they are shooting at civilians and they are restricting aid to communities in need.“We need to put an end to this.”
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Myanmar’s actions amounted to “genocide” against the Rohingya and pledged to raise the issue before the United Nations general assembly this month.