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Erdogan to raise issue of Rohingya at UN

September 4, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Image of President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) in Ankara, Turkey on 1 June 2017 [Kayhan Özer/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he would bring up the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims at the next UN General Assembly meeting in New York later this month.

Speaking to locals in Istanbul’s Catalca district on the final day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, Erdogan said,

Humanity has remained silent in the face of the Myanmar massacre.

“I will bring up what is happening in Myanmar at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 19 in the broadest way,” he said.  “We will speak about all this with the leaders there.”

As the rotating president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Erdogan said that so far he has spoken to the leaders of around 20 countries about the issue.

Read: Erdogan continues telephone diplomacy on Myanmar crisis

The Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) and the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) will continue sending humanitarian aid to the suffering Rohingya Muslims in southeast Asia, the president added.

Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Aug. 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community.

It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to the refugees.

Media reports said Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force, displacing thousands of Rohingya villagers and destroying their homes with mortars and machine guns.

The region has seen tensions simmer between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

Read: Why are Muslim nations silent on Rohingya?

A crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a UN report on human rights violations and crimes against humanity by security forces.

The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings — including infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people were slain during the crackdown.