World Bulletin / News Desk
The head of a global union representing the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to hold an emergency meeting on the escalating acts of violence targeting his community.
"We want the Turkish media, the Turkish government and the international community to ask OIC to hold an emergency meeting on this crisis. The issue is hot right now and we need to mobilize our Muslim community," said Dr. Wakar Uddin, Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU), the largest organization representing the Rohingya Muslims, in an interview with the Anadolu Agency.
Uddin said the Buddhist Rakhine community in Myanmar's Arakan state continued to wage attacks against Muslims and security forces did not prevent the attacks as they came from the same Buddhist ethnicity.
"The state of emergency in Arakan state has been only taking toll on Muslims, but Buddhist Rakhines are not obeying it," he said.
Noting that the biggest crisis in the region was starvation, Uddin said, the region was nearly 500 km away from the capital city and supplies coming from the government did not reach the state.
Limited supplies arriving at the state were distributed to Buddhist Rakhines, not to Muslims, and people were starving to death, he said.
"Tens of thousands homeless, a thousand missing"
Commenting on the number of casualties and displacements in the region, Uddin said tens of thousands of Muslims were homeless and nearly a thousand were currently missing.
"According to the first-hand and confirmed information I got from the region, the number of homeless and people at refugee camps have exceeded 90,000. I cannot give an exact figure for the number of the dead, because everytime a Muslim is killed the body is taken away. Nearly 1,000 are missing, but there are a significant number of dead bodies in this figure," he said.
Uddin also claimed that Burmese security forces took male adults from Muslim families, arrested them and took them to unknown destinations. He said the women left behind were faced with the threat of rape.
"No food for Ramadan"
ARU head also said the holly month of Ramadan was getting closer, but there was no food for the Muslim community.
"Ramadan is coming and there is no food. They are not letting Muslims get out of their homes to go to stores. What will they do in Ramadan-," he said.
Uddin said his community expected international food agencies and aid groups to supply food across the Bangladeshi border.
International community on Arakan dispute
Commenting on the international community's response to the incidents in Arakan, Uddin criticized several western states' decision to lift or ease sanctions on Myanmar due to the country's progress in democratization.
"The international community must be aware that the Burmese government has cleverly shown the international community the progress of reforms. But reforms did not significantly include human rights for minorities," he said.
Describing the acts of violence as an "ethnic cleansing based on race and religion", Uddin said, "The conflict between the two communities in Arakan state is that one community is supported by the Burmese government. There is no justice for Muslims."
Uddin also said there would be a greater chance of reconciliation and peace, if the Burmese government equally treated both communities.
"We need the international community as an honest broker in the middle," he said.
The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingya Muslims. The government says the Rohingyas are not native and classify them as illegal migrants, although they have lived in Myanmar for generations.
Recently, Myanmar's President Thein Sein said Rohingya Muslims must be expelled from the country and sent to refugee camps run by the United Nations.
Around 800,000 Rohingyas live in Myanmar.
Decades of discrimination have left the Rohingya stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education and public services.
Sanogo charged to a more serious charge of conspiracy to murder which carries the death penalty in the West African nation
Preliminary results based on 82.6 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 43.8 percent, followed by Ghani with 32.9 percent
The violence in the central African state, the size of France, has mainly pitted Kiir's Dinka people against Machar's Nuer. Thousands have been killed and more than one million people uprooted from their homes.
It was not the first time a tourist with such a tattoo has run into trouble in Sri Lanka. In 2013, authorities denied entry to a British man for his tattoo of Buddha.
Several of Washington's key European allies support an investigation into the latest claims of chlorine gas use
Egypt's military said the army had destroyed more than 1,500 tunnels that ran under the frontier between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, which borders North Sinai, in an attempt to stop the illegal flow of arms
"Rising violent extremism is an enormous challenge first for Libya but also for Libya's international partners," Burns told a news conference after talks in the capital Tripoli.
The former Mejlis head-turned-Ukrainian MP Mustafa Jemilev has been outspoken against the Russian annexation of Crimea following a referendum on March 16, in which the mainly ethnic Russia people of Crimea voted to split from Ukraine and join Moscow.
The mountaineering season lasts until the end of May, when cloud from the rainy season pushes up from the south making climbing the world's highest mountain virtually impossible
While the United States said it was disappointed by the deal, which it said could make peace efforts difficult, China said it regarded the move positively
Gruevski has run the small, landlocked former Yugoslav republic of two million people since 2006, in coalition with the DUI party of former ethnic Albanian fighters
The radar station on Yonaguni Island marks Japan's first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years
Lavrov said the United States should use its influence to persuade Kiev to implement its commitments under an international accord on Ukraine that was signed last week.
Ukrainian forces appear to be closing in around Slaviansk, a city of 130,000 which has become a military stronghold for the pro-Russian movement and is entirely controlled by separatist fighters.
The stoppage follows an armed attacked on one of the country's most respected TV anchors.
The crossing remains closed, however, to commercial and industrial goods.