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World must end ‘genocide’ of Rohingya Muslims: Malaysia PM

4 December 2016 16:10

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Malaysia’s premier has called on the global community to help stop the “genocide” of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, slamming the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi for her inaction on the bloodletting against the minority community.

On Thursday, Najib Razak joined some 5,000 Malaysians, who had taken to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to show their support for Myanmar’s long-persecuted Rohingya community.

“The world cannot sit by and watch genocide taking place,” the prime minister said in an address to the large crowd.

Najib further called on the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to intervene and help stop the plight of Rohingya Muslims.

The Malaysian leader slammed Suu Kyi for failing to act on the sufferings of Myanmar’s Muslim community.

Suu Kyi heads Myanmar’s National League for Democracy, which holds parliamentary majority. Promoted in the West as a democracy icon, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts towards “democratization” of the country.

Malaysians hold a protest in Kuala Lumpur on December 4, 2016 against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. (Photo by AFP)

“What’s the use of Aung San Suu Kyi having a Nobel prize?” asked Najib. “We want to tell Aung San Suu Kyi, enough is enough… We must and we will defend Muslims and Islam.”

In a strongly-worded statement on Saturday, Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry slammed the Myanmar government for engaging in the “ethnic cleansing” of its Rohingya minority.

“The fact that only one particular ethnicity is being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing,” said the statement.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring countries in recent years, it noted, adding the influx “makes this matter no longer an internal matter but an international matter.”

The 1.1 million-strong minority, which the government brands as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, has been suffering widely-reported systematic aggression for years.

The Myanmarese army has recently stepped up its crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in the state of Rakhine following a deadly attack on the country’s border guards on October 9. The government blamed the assault on armed Rohingyas.

A Rohingya refugee reacts after the death of her six-year-old son in a refugee camp in Teknaf, in Bangladesh, on November 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The state has been under a military lockdown that came with a “counterinsurgency” operation following the October raid, which killed nine police officers.

The UN says more than 10,000 Rohingya have in recent weeks fled to Bangladesh, escaping a bloody army crackdown being waged against them in the name of security measures.

Those arriving in Bangladesh have recounted stories of gang rape, torture, and murder at the hands of Myanmar’s forces.

Myanmar has denied allegations of abuse, but has also banned foreign journalists and independent investigators from the area.

Government-allied Buddhist extremists have been waging communal violence in the Rakhine State, where the Rohingyas are concentrated, since 2012. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands forced from their homes as a result.

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