Malaysia: Myanmar pursues ethnic cleansing of Rohingya (Al Jazeera, 4 December 2016)

Malaysia: Myanmar pursues ethnic cleansing of Rohingya (Al Jazeera, 4 December 2016)

Malaysia has accused Myanmar of engaging in “ethnic cleansing” of its Rohingya Muslim minority, as former UN chief Kofi Annan visits a burned-out village in violence-hit Rakhine state. Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled their homes since a bloody crackdown by the Myanmar army in Rakhine, sparked by a string of deadly attacks on police border posts in early October. “The fact that only one particular ethnicity is being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing,” Malaysia’s foreign ministry said in an unusually strongly-worded statement on Saturday. Myanmar has balked at such criticism, saying the Rakhine crisis is an internal issue. However, international pressure on the country is mounting. Malaysia’s statement noted that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to neighbouring countries in recent years, including approximately 56,000 to Muslim-majority Malaysia. That, the statement said, “makes this matter no longer an internal matter, but an international matter”.