“The Calamities of Rohingya: a man-made humanitarian crisis”
The human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslim minority and thousands of evicted refugees fleeing from their home land have been taking place on a large-scale.
The Rohingyas, regarded as the most persecuted minority in the world, are victims of indiscriminate violence like rape, murder, arson, land seizure and inhumane torture on a massive scale in Rakhine state where they have long been ostracized facing sever humanitarian crisis. Myanmar security forces together with local extremists Buddhist monks have been accused of setting fire houses, killing arbitrarily the Rohingya people and raping women.
The human rights groups report that at least, thousands of Rohingya people have been killed, thousands of homes and villages have been torched and nearly half a million have been displaced since the military launched brutal and shameless crackdown against the unarmed Rohingya civilian men, women and children on last August. The United Nations human rights officials have said the violence in Myanmar is a case of ethnic cleansing.
A Rohingya women named Ramuja who have narrated the brutal experience which would depict us to get a clear picture how the violence has been occurring in Rakhine state. She describes a scenario when soldiers entered her house and ripped her one year old baby boy and threw her baby into a fire. She was then gang raped. Her parents, two of her sisters and her younger brother were also killed. Her husband, Mohammad Rafiq, was somehow managed to escape the attack. Such violent scenarios of Rohingya people seem to be hard to concede in the 21st century, however, Ramuja story appears to be harsh reality which thousands of Rohingya women face in Myanmar.
Nevertheless, the uncertain and painful journey of evicted Rohingya crossing the land mine beset border to Bangladesh Rohingya refugee camps is too horrible to interpret. They have been killed whether crossing the border by land mine explosions or being drowned in Naf river. The fear of death is circled their life as it is just a stream without ending.
When they arrive in Bangladesh refugee camps with a little hope to survive, a new chapter of sufferings begin. The sufferings continue to escalate as there lacks of sufficient food, shelter, pure drinking water, basic sanitation facility and medical care as it seems to be a catastrophic humanitarian crisis no words to describe.
However, the universal declaration of human rights includes the provisions for the fundamental rights such as rights to life, rights to a nationality, right to freedom and freedom from oppression etc., particularly relevant to the Rohingyas but unfortunately the reality depicts the fundamental rights such as these seem to be a distant dream for Rohingya.
Myanmar, accused of violating human rights, voted for the UN human rights treaties specifically the universal declaration of human rights in 1948 and accessed to core other international human rights treaties and protocols: the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women(CEDAW), the convention on the rights of the child (CRC) and the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities etc. These human rights law applies to all people and nations irrespective of race, culture and religion. All nations are bound to follow and respect the international human rights law and are obliged to protect human rights and dignity as well. It is clear that these particular violations of human rights against Rohingya keep going and continue to escalate albeit there has been no legal action taken which would deem a punishment for breaking the law.
The international community decisively condemned the actions of Myanmar’s brutal army but the only condemnations are not enough to solve this horrible humanitarian crisis. It is the international community who have the power to put pressure on Myanmar to implement the Kofi Anan commission report lifting restrictions of freedom of movement, religion and citizenship for upholding humanity, promoting peace and making the region stable. Finally, and specifically, the international community must take essential actions to appease this man made human sufferings by providing humanitarian reliefs and assistance.
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Written by :- Abdullah Al Mamun
The writer is studying M.S.S in the department of political science, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.