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French stars launch online Rohingya campaign

Celebrities call on Turkish leader to support their #LoveArmyforRohingya drive to raise donations for refugees

French stars launch online Rohingya campaign

By Hajer M'tiri


French celebrities, including actor Omar Sy and Snapchat star Jerome Jarre, have launched a huge online campaign to help the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar.

The #LoveArmyforRohingya initiative aims to raise awareness of the suffering of the more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar to take shelter in neighboring Bangladesh since the crisis escalated in August.

Organizers are also hoping Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will take part.

#ErdoganHelpRohingya became the number one trending hashtag on French Twitter on Tuesday.

Erdogan responded by a tweet vowing to support the campaign: "Dear @jeromejarre, We never turn down requests for assistance -- wherever the people in need may be. We will support #LoveArmyforRohingya efforts through our aid agencies, @AFADTurkey @Tika_Turkey and @RedCrescentTR, along with @TurkishAirlines."

Turkey has already been at the forefront of providing aid and calling attention to the Rohingya plight with Erdogan raising the issue earlier this year at the UN.

Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan visited Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in September.

Sy and Jarre, along with French DJ Snake and YouTubeurs John Rachid and Mister V have started a series of live streams over 48 hours from a refugee camp in Bangladesh in a bid to raise donations for essential supplies.

Jarre managed to raise €2 million ($2.3 million) in a campaign last year in support of famine victims in Somalia and is hoping to repeat the same success for the Rohingya cause.

Rohingya refugees, a group described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, are fleeing a military operation that has seen security forces and Buddhist mobs kill men, women and children, loot homes and torch Rohingya villages.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including those of infants and young children -- beatings and disappearances committed by security forces.

In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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