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  • The Rohingya is described by the U.N. as the world's most persecuted people.

    The Rohingya is described by the U.N. as the world's most persecuted people. | Photo: AFP

Published 24 May 2020
Opinion

Myanmar's 2017 crackdown on Rohingya forced more than 730,000  to flee and led to accusations of mass murder, gang rape, torture, and arson.

Myanmar has presented Saturday its first report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), detailing the steps it has taken to protect the Muslim Rohingya minority from further act of violence and to preserve evidence of the genocidal campaign witnessed in the past years.

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"We submitted it to the ICJ today," a Foreign Affairs Ministry official of Myanmar told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, explaining the report was based on three directives issued by the Myanmar president's office in April.

"What I know is that the report was based on what we have done and what we are doing regarding these three directives," the official said.

The ICJ issued a provisional order in January, asking Myanmar to implement preventive measures to protect Rohingya in western Rakhine state.

But Rohingya groups say Myanmar’s military is continuing to commit atrocities in Rakhine, where it is fighting rebels.

"Myanmar has not taken any serious action to protect the Rohingya," said Rohingya activist Muhammed Nowkhim who is based in Bangladesh after he fled violence in 2017.

Refugee groups in Bangladesh have been documenting dozens of cases of Rohingya being killed or injured in Rakhine since the ICJ order, Nowkhim told DPA agency.

The top United Nations court agreed last year to consider a case brought by The Gambia alleging that Myanmar committed genocide against the Rohingya, an accusation denied by the government.

In August 2017, Myanmar's military launched what it called a "clearance operation" in Rakhine state in response to an attack by a Rohingya armed group. The crackdown forced more than 730,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh and led to widespread accusations of mass murder, gang rape, torture, and arson.

Since the crackdown, nearly 24,000 Rohingya have been killed by Myanmar's security forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while more than 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report.

As many as 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar's army and police and more than 115,000 Rohingya homes burned down while 113,000 others were vandalized, it added.

The Rohingya is described by the U.N. as the world's most persecuted people.

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