Ongoing Mass-Killing of Rohingya and International Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
By Nay Myo Win
Analysis and Opinion
October 11, 2016
Once again, the Burmese (Myanmar) Armed Forces such as the military and the Border Guard Police (BGP) have staged mass-killings of the innocent Rohingya civilians in Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships since Sunday morning. It all started with the raids of three BGP posts and loot of their arsenal by some unidentified assailants at different places on early Sunday morning. However, instead of tracking down the assailants, the Burmese authorities shifted the blame to the unconcerned local Rohingya civilians. The Burmese authorities since then have begun to scapegoat the Rohingya people for yet another politically motivated violence.
Rohingya since 2012 Violence
It is no secret to the world how the Burmese regime conspired, triggered and sponsored a violence against the Rohingya in June 2012, which includes extrajudicial killings of Rohingyas, burning down their homes, looting their properties, arbitrary arrests and imprisonments, rapes, tortures, forced evacuations, forced labor, destruction of their ethnic identity, restriction of their movements, forced to live in the concentration camps, denial of their access to livelihoods, rendering them without access to education and basic healthcare on and on. In fact, all sorts of crimes that are in the dictionary of Burmese regime have been committed against them. The atrocities in Arakan state of Burma have led to loss of thousands of human lives and promoted transnational crimes like human trafficking.
Hence, many international human rights advocacy groups such as Huma Rights Watch (HRW Report) has gone on to call the atrocious plight of ‘Rohingya’ as an ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) and Al Jazeera Documentary have even gone on to prove it as ‘Genocide.’ Some Human Rights activists like Human Rights activists like Matthew Smith, founder of campaign group Fortify Rights, said restrictions on the Muslim population already in place made northern Rakhine State “a police state, an apartheid state”. Sadly, to no vail, all these calls fall into deaf ears!
Sadly, the Burmese regime especially its armed forces have still silently been committing gross atrocities turning the region, Arakan state, into a silent killing field. No international authoritative bodies have come to forward to stop these prolonged acts of ethnic cleansing by the Burmese regime. They have just restricted themselves to merely giving lips-service to the dire plight of the Rohingya.
Burmese Renewed Tactic towards Rohingya post US’ Lifting of Economic Sanctions
Recently, the United States (US) lifted all the economic sanctions imposed on Burma and removed the ex-despots such as Than Shwe, Maung Aye etc — responsible for untold crimes against humanity and atrocities not against not only Rohingya but also other ethnic minorities — from its blacklist. Everything is going smooth for the Burmese regime controlled by Chief of Staff Snr Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who is yet another brainwashed child of ex-despot Than Shwe and never pleased with the Civilian section of the Government is being led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi although he controls three most important ministries such as Defense Ministrry, Home Ministry and Border Affairs Ministry.
Therefore, the Burmese regime has got a free hand to kill Rohingya people en masse and complete long-planned agenda effectively. With the raids by the unidentified assailants on the Border Guard Police headquarter and two other camps, there could be no better chance of time for the Military regime to create unrests in the Arakan state once again and militarize and re-gain control of the region, which is very strategic importance to its ally, China. Irrespective to the raids were staged by the military regime themselves or the raids were carried out by the actual unknown assailants, the regime have taken full advantage of it for their political gains by assaulting the innocent Rohingya civilians by arbitrarily blaming them for the raids.
Ongoing Mass-Killings of Rohingya Civilians
Since Sunday morning, the Burmese armed forces have been on a Rohingya killing spree. They have been shooting down the innocent civilians at sight and committing extra-judicial killings en masse. The killings have been out of control and death-tolls are unimaginably on the rise. They have been humiliating, dehumanizing and demoralizing Rohingya women, children and old people. They have been burning down their homes and looting their properties.
There are constant fears of life. If they stay home, there are raids conducted by the military and Border Guard Police and they can be arbitrarily arrested. If they leave home to escape, the innocent civilians can be shot dead at sight if encountered with the armed forces. In short, the Burmese regime (controlled by Min Aung Hlaing) has turned an easily solvable situation into a full-fledged war, an offensive war that they are launching on the innocent Rohingya civilians.
Bangladesh has closed down its border effectively the Rohingya people to take refuge in the country. They and their villages besieged by the military and being killed like flies. No international community is coming forward to help or stop the genocidal killings. No international media is giving proper and enough coverage of the ongoing mass-killings of the people. Therefore, this full-fledged military assaults on the civilians have pushed them to the edge and there is no way left for them to escape.
Right to Self-Defense and International R2P Rohingya
The unfolding situation of helplessness and hopelessness have led them into desperation and continuous psychological traumas so much so that they are feeling like doing anything to defend and save their lives, the lives of the women, the innocent children and the weak old people. In case of any self-defense acts against the military assaults to save their lives – in accordance with Right to Self-Defense or Rebellion against Tyranny, a basic human right, which is very much allowed in ‘Preamble of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)’, it will further escalate to a never-ending violence; and possibly a state of civil war and a painful regional crisis.
Therefore, if United Nations (UN) has any responsibility left towards its global citizens, it MUST intervene in the unfolding Arakan crisis according to ‘Responsibility to Protect (R2P),’ the global political commitment it adopted in 2005 World Summit to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes humanity. The UN must send its peace-keeping troops as the Rohingya community is always known as a peace-loving people. The UN must send International Investigation Team to Arakan, which is the only way to find out to the truth and expose the grossly concocted lies of the Burmese Regime. The International Humanitarian Organizations should come forward with the medical aids and the food rations.
Then crisis can still easily be tackled now (as we have still have time) but if late, it will be a never-ending crisis that will lose lives of thousands of innocent people and the cancerous regional and international crisis.
Last but not the least, the Rohingya community as a whole is a peace-loving community who very much loves to live within and as a part of peaceful and harmonious Burma (Myanmar) for certainly they are a part of the country. They are against in any form of violence. They just struggle to regain their ethnic rights, citizenship right and other basic human rights that have been long striped off from them.
Nay Myo Win is a Rohingya Vision TV Correspondent living in Burma. Views expressed here are his own. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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