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OIC to discuss Rohingya crisis next week

11 January 2017 17:16


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is to discuss the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar next week, a Malaysian official says.

The official said on Wednesday that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who recently called on the global community to help stop the “genocide” of the Rohingya, would chair the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, which is scheduled to be held on January 19.

Fifty-six OIC representatives are reportedly expected to take part in the meeting.

Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine has been the scene of communal violence at the hands of Buddhist extremists and the army forces since 2012. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands have been forced from homes to live in squalid camps in dire conditions in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The government in Myanmar denies full citizenship to the 1.1-million-strong Rohingya population, branding them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. However, the Rohingya are believed to be a community of ancient lineage in Myanmar.

Rakhine was in the spotlight in October, when Myanmar deployed troops there after an attack by unidentified gunmen left nine police officers dead.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is known for its staunch critical attitude toward the “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya, calling for an end to the violence against the minority in Myanmar.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, holds hands with other leaders during a protest against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, at a stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 4, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

In November, Malaysia summoned Myanmar’s ambassador over the bloody crackdown on Muslims. Malaysia’s national soccer team canceled two friendly matches with Myanmar in protest.

A senior Malaysian minister has urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to review Myanmar’s membership.

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