By Askin Kiyagan, Serife Cetin and Abdullah Asiran
NGOs in Europe have condemned ongoing violence in Myanmar, describing it as “inhumane” and “ethnic cleansing”.
The condemnation follows reports of mass civilian casualties after recent raids by Myanmar security forces against Rohingya insurgents.
“We strongly condemn the Myanmar state’s inhumane violence and oppression against Rohingya Muslims”, Ibrahim Olgun, Austrian Islamic Community chairman, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
Esad Memic, the head of Bosnian Muslims in Austria, urged the international community to take steps to protect the Rohingya minority.
“Humanity’s honor is being trampled underfoot. People in Rakhine state lack basic human rights,” he said.
Mohammad Faroque al-Madani, an executive member of the Bangladesh Islamic Centre in Vienna, also called on Muslim countries to raise their voice.
Calling for economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Myanmar for its army’s strategy, Nourdeen Wildeman, president of the As-Salaamah foundation in Utrecht, the Netherlands, said there had been a systematic stripping away of people's rights in Myanmar.
Brussels-based Burma Action Group spokesman Gillet Pierre-Yves described the violence in Rakhine state as “ethnic cleansing”, saying:
“Civilians live under the pain of death. The situation is terrifying. The international community should urgently take control of it at the highest level.”
Deadly attacks on border posts in Rakhine state broke out Friday, leaving a soldier, 10 police officers, an immigration official and 77 militants dead, the Office of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said in a statement.
Later, media reports emerged saying Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force and displaced thousands of Rohingya Muslim villagers, destroying homes with mortars and machine guns.
The region has seen simmering tensions between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.