Political News

The Latest: Pakistan condemns attacks on Myanmar's Rohingya

Posted September 4

— The Latest on violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state and the resulting flood of ethnic Rohingya refugees into neighboring Bangladesh (all times local):

1:30 a.m.

Pakistan has expressed "deep anguish" at the ongoing violence against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday called for "effective measures to prevent the recurrence of such violence" against the Muslim minority. He said Pakistan is committed to providing humanitarian assistance, without elaborating.

Some 87,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled into neighboring Bangladesh since Aug. 25.

The violence and the exodus began when Rohingya insurgents attacked Myanmar police and paramilitary posts in what they said was an effort to protect their ethnic minority from persecution by security forces in the majority-Buddhist country.

In response, the military unleashed what it called clearance operations to root out the insurgents.


6 p.m.

The BBC says it has stopped providing news programs to a Myanmar television station because it has been censoring the broadcasts, a decision that appeared to relate to coverage of communal violence in the western state of Rakhine.

BBC Deputy Director of News and Current Affairs Francesca Unsworth said in a statement posted on the BBC Burmese website that the censorship by Yangon-based MNTV "violated the trust between the BBC and its audience."

It said the BBC has warned MNTV since March against interfering with BBC programming.

MNTV said it was complying with a government order not to disseminate information that could be seen as supporting an ethnic Rohingya insurgent group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

Tens of thousands of minority Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape recent violence in which hundreds have died.


5:30 p.m.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi says after meetings with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's armed forces commander that "de-escalation" of tensions in Rakhine state should be the top priority of Myanmar's government.

Marsudi says she is the first foreign minister to meet with Myanmar's leadership since violence erupted again in Rakhine on Aug. 25, triggering an exodus of Rohingya Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh.

She said in a statement that: "The security authorities of Myanmar need to immediately stop all forms of violence that occurred in Rakhine state and provide protection to all people including the Muslim community."

Marsudi said Indonesia has submitted a five-point plan to Myanmar that needs immediate implementation "so that the crisis of humanity and security will not worsen."


12 p.m.:

A hospital near Bangladesh's southeastern border has become overcrowded with dozens of Rohingya refugees who arrived with bullet wounds and broken bones after fleeing violence in western Myanmar.

The U.N. refugee agency says ethnic Rohingya Muslims are still streaming across the swampy border and had already filled the three existing refugee camps to capacity.

The UNHCR on Monday was counting some 73,000 new refugees in Bangladesh since violence erupted on Aug. 25 in Myanmar's western Rakhine state. Many of their needs including food and shelter were being provided by Rohingya who fled Myanmar years ago.

Meanwhile, Dr. Shaheen Abdur Rahman Choudhury at the Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital said 31 Rohingya men were being treated for bullet wounds and broken bones. He described them as being "distressed and afraid."


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