World Bulletin / News Desk
A researcher for a leading global human rights NGO has said humanitarian aid organizations should be allowed in Myanmar's western Arakan state where attacks targeting Rohingya Muslims have recently escalated.
"Sectarian violence (in Arakan) has continued, potentially with the complicity of the security forces, because they have not made sufficient or adequate efforts to stop it and they themselves have perpetrated human rights violations against the ethnic minority of Rohingya population," said Amnesty International's Myanmar Researcher Benjamin Zawacki, in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
Listing the urgent steps to solve the ongoing crisis in Arakan, Zawacki said, "The government should be compelled to allow aid and access to the region. At the same time, attacks being perpetrated by the authorities of the state of Myanmar need to stop".
SYSTEMATIC RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS
Zawacki said a large percentage of the security forces in Arakan were of Buddhist origin. Rohingya Muslims living in the state had been suffering a "systematic racism and systematic discrimination" for decades, he added.
The researcher said the situation in the region had been particularly intense for the past week and there were daily reports of attacks targeting Rohingyas.
"Rohingyas are a minority both ethnically and also religiously. So one assumes that some of the persecution they have suffered over the years and they are suffering now is on account of their religion and as well as their ethnicity," he said.
NUMBER OF DEAD, DISPLACED HARD TO VERIFY
Zawacki noted that Amnesty International would not endorse the term "ethnic cleansing" at this time to describe the situation in Arakan, however, it could certainly be said that the attacks were targeted, discriminatory in their nature and they were resulting in an increase in the number of political prisoners.
Commenting on the number of casualties and displacements, the researcher said it was difficult to verify such information as Myanmar authorities had been preventing the access of humanitarian actors into the region. "So, it's very difficult to assess the number of displaced and homeless," he said.
Pointing to the low nutrition rates and harsh living conditions for women and children, Zawacki said the real job was to re-impose some sort of law in security and allow humanitarian access.
"Whether aid is completely blocked or effectively blocked, the point is that tens of thousands of people are in need of humanitarian assistance," he underscored.
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS
Regarding several Western states' lifting or easing sanctions on Myanmar in the recent term due to the progress in the country's democratization process, Zawacki said sanctions could be lifted, but authorities could be urged to cease violations at the same time.
He said "the international community clearly failed to step up and take concerted action in this crisis".
"Even [Burmese opposition politician] Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken out in favor of reforming the citizenship law, but has not spoken out in favor of making Rohingyas citizens," Zawacki said.
The relatives of soldiers taken by the militant group from Tikrit north of Baghdad had been scheduled to address parliament about the fate of their loved ones
The two had spent three months in Israeli administrative detention
By convening a joint session of parliament, where Sharif has a solid majority, the prime minister seeks to reaffirm that he is fully in control of the situation.
A political crisis in Pakistan means many are watching out for the army's reaction but the army itself is denying any involvement.
The trial comes as civil society groups voice increasing concern over what they say is a rise in the number of criminal defamation cases brought by the military against rights workers and journalists
Although no date has been set for the transfer, the Pentagon in July handed the U.S. Congress a legally required 30-day notice that it intended to transfer the small group of prisoners from the base in Cuba
Mohamed Ali Nasri told reporters in hospital that about five gunmen attacked his house
Police used pepper spray to disperse activists as Hong Kong centre braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision.
Fiji said the group was demanding compensation for three fighters killed in the confrontation with the U.N. peacekeepers, as well as humanitarian assistance to the people of Ruta, and the removal of the organisation from the U.N. list of banned terrorist organisations.
Although Australia is not a NATO member, its troops fought alongside the coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan
More than 2,000 Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh will be allowed back into Myanmar.
The militia said in a statement that was signed by its first deputy head Nouredine Adam that it was not consulted about the selection of the three ministers who should represent it in the new government.
Channel 2 broadcast a video allegedly of the Iranian drone being shot down by Israel's air defense over the Golan Heights.
Oxfam said that mega public-private partnerships are unproven, risky and represent a dubious use of public funds to fight poverty and food insecurity.
Leading Nigerian rights group Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asked the ICC prosecutor to investigate information that top Nigerian government officials were sponsoring Boko Haram.
Azarakhsh Hafizi, chairman of the Gas Importer’s Association, told journalists in Kabul on Monday that traders were ready to help the government in cutting down the price of this basic commodity.