By Fayas Ahmed
Nearly 160,000 Rohingyas could be at risk of starvation and diseases such as— pneumonia, diarrhea, dysentery because of blocking aid by the Burmese government and military.
On October 9, Border Guard Police (BGP) posts in Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships had been attacked. The government has accused some armed Rohingyas of being responsible for the attacks. This has provoked a titanic crackdown on the local Rohingya villagers in Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships
Terrible human rights violations have taken place by military and BGP personnel killing hundreds of villagers, many wounded and missing, many arrested, raping many women and girls, burning many homes and villages, looting gold ornaments, cash and properties, destroyed mosques and religious schools, and perpetrated other inhuman acts and destroying Rohingya owned properties, even throwing children into the flames.
Rape is being used as a weapon of ‘Rohingya ethnic-cleansing’. Blocking the area to international journalists and observers help the government to destroy the Rohingya people without the knowledge of international community.
Rohingya villagers become shelter, clothing and food less. The Burmese army and BGP with the co-operation of local Rakhine Natala villagers destroyed their homes, food ration and clothing.
Now, winter is coming as the villagers, especially children and elderly people have been suffering from cold because of shelter and clothing.
As human beings, Rohingyas need three basic needs such as— shelter, food and clothing. Now, the Burmese government cut off all these basic three things. How the Rohingya people will survive in their villages. Burmese government intends to uproot all Rohingyas from Arakan soils. It is government’s ultimate goal.
Villagers are living in paddy fields, at river banks making tents without clean drinking water and have no medicine and inadequate food. If the government ends up the restriction of aid by donors, less people will die.
Unless urgent action is taken more Rohingya people will be dying from starvation, diarrhea, pneumonia and dysentery than from bullets fired by the Army. At present, at least 35,000 people have been displaced in recent attacks by the military along with BGP personnel.
Besides, more than 120,000 people have been living in dirty camps since fleeing attacks in 2012. They are all dependent on aid, but since 9th October, the government and military are stopping them from receiving it.
But, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Commander-in-Chief of Army Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing have disregarded all calls to allow aid in.
Children, pregnant women, patients and elderly people are the most helpless to what could be a slow motion massacre by starvation and diseases.
One scholar claims that what is happening towards the Rohingya community in Myanmar can be called a ‘slow burning genocide’ and thus is punishable under established international law.
But it is frustrating that UN, powerful countries and Burma neighbors, have taken no concrete step to response to the serious humanitarian needs of the helpless Rohingyas and to stop the ongoing genocide against them.