European Union and US fail in the Rohingya conflict

Remaining silent will lead to more deaths in Burma – Mass exodus must be prevented – Human rights for the Rohingya (Press Release)

The Rohingya must no longer be instrumentalized in the power struggle between Burma’s army and the state leadership under Aung San Suu Kyi. Photo: United to End Genocide via Flickr

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has accused the European Union (EU) and the United States of fueling the human rights crisis by remaining silent about the Rohingya conflict. “The mass exodus of 90,000 Rohingya from Burma is too dramatic to let despots such as Chechnya’s dictator Ramsan Kadyrov or the Turkish President Recep Erdogan, the Iranian government, or the Afghan Taliban decide what to do with the victims of persecution. The EU and the United States must be more insistent in demanding Burma’s government to grant the Rohingya their citizen’s rights,” stated Ulrich Delius, the STP’s director, in Göttingen on Tuesday. “Millions of Muslims around the world are demanding an end to the persecution of the Rohingya – and we expect Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini to show more commitment on behalf of the persecuted people as well. It would be fatal if the people had the impression that human rights are not applicable for everyone, if human rights violations against Muslims were seen as less serious crimes.”

“While the EU is trying to find ways out of the North Korea crisis, its lack of activity in the Rohingya question has resulted in a loss of respect in the Muslim world. This loss of reputation is a threat to Europe’s credibility,” Delius warned. While Gabriel and Mogherini are not addressing the suffering of the Rohingya, who are being used as pawns in a power struggle in Burma, dictator Kadyrov let more than a million people take to the streets in the Chechen city of Grozny to protest against the persecution of the Rohingya. In Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and other Muslim countries, there have been further large demonstrations against the violent attacks Burma’s armed forces had carried out on Rohingya villages recently. In view of the protests, many governments of Muslim countries are very alarmed – and they are planning to address the Rohingya-question during the next UN General Assembly.

“International pressure is the only possible way to put an end to the murders and the violence in Burma,” said Delius. “The Rohingya must no longer be instrumentalized in the power struggle between Burma’s army and the state leadership under Aung San Suu Kyi. It is absurd that Aung San Suu Kyi’s closest representatives are accusing the Rohingya of burning down their own villages in order to blame the army for the crimes.”

The STP warned that the Rohingya peoples’ exodus from Burma should not be ignored. “This would help the Buddhist extremists, who have been trying to find ways to drive the Rohingya minority out of the country for quite a while already,” Delius explained.

Header Photo: United to End Genocide via Flickr