JEDDAH: The head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday proposed sending an OIC mission to probe the “massacres” of Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, a statement said on Sunday.
The OIC will try to persuade the government in Yangon to accept an OIC fact-finding mission, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told an executive committee meeting of the world’s largest Muslim grouping which is based in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
He expressed disappointment over the failure of the international community to take action to stop the massacres, violations, oppression and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the government of Myanmar against the Rohingya Muslims, the statement said.
“The OIC has directed its offices at the United Nations in New York to urge the Council to look into the suffering of the Rohingya minority,” he said.
Violence which erupted in June in Rakhine state between Buddhists and Rohingya left about 80 people dead from both sides, official figures showed.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that figure appeared “grossly underestimated,” however, and accused security forces of opening fire on Muslims and committing rape.
Hundreds of Rohingya men and boys have been rounded up and remain incommunicado in the western region of the country formerly known as Burma, it said in a report.
Members of both the Muslim and Buddhist communities committed horrific acts of violence with reports of beheadings, stabbings, shootings and widespread arson in Rakhine, also known as Arakan state, the report added.
Myanmar’s government considers the estimated 800,000 Rohingya in the country to be foreigners, while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and view them with hostility.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.