Indonesian Muslims Condemn Deadly Violence Against Myanmar's Rohingya

Rohingya people walk towards a makeshift shelter near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on Aug. 28. (Reuters Photo/Mohammad Ponir Hossain)

By : Imam Suhartadi | on 4:06 PM September 03, 2017
Category : News, Featured, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. Indonesian Muslim organizations have condemned the recent deadly bouts of violence that killed hundreds of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and called on the United Nations to stop the violence.

According to a Reuters report, about 38,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar, a week after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army base in Rakhine state, triggering clashes and counteroffensive by Myanmar's military.

The army said it is conducting military operations against "extremist terrorists" to protect civilians, but Rohingya fleeing their country say it is a campaign of arson and killings to force them out.

On Saturday (09/02), As'ari Machfudz, chairman of the East Java chapter of the Union of Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools (IPI) urged the Indonesian government to push the United Nations to end violence against the Rohingya.

He also called on the world's Muslim community to impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights abuses.

"The United Nation must act and make efforts to stop the atrocities against the Rohingya," central board member of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization, Saifullah "Gus Ipul" Yusuf said on Friday.

Saiful said Indonesia, as the largest Muslim-majority country, needs to play a bigger role to end persecution of Muslims in fellow Southeast Asian countries.

Previously, the NU, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other mass organizations, formed a humanitarian aid group, organizing medical and financial help for the Rohingya in Myanmar.

The treatment of the 1.1 million group is the biggest challenge facing Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by critics of not speaking out for the minority that has long complained of persecution.

The clashes and ensuing army crackdown have killed about 370 Rohingya insurgents, but also 13 security officers, two government officials and 14 civilians, the Myanmar military said on Thursday.

The fighting is a dramatic escalation of a conflict that has been simmering since October, when similar but much smaller Rohingya attacks on security posts prompted a brutal military response dogged by allegations of rights abuses.

With additional reporting by Reuters

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