By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Rohingya advocacy groups worldwide as well as rights activists and analysts on Sunday marked two years since the exodus of the oppressed Rohingya from Myanmar with an appeal to ensure justice for the atrocities perpetrated by Myanmar’s army since Aug. 25, 2017.
"Rohingya seek the support of UN, EU, US, OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation], ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to bring the perpetrators of Myanmar genocide to justice," tweeted the Dutch-based Rohingya umbrella group EU Rohingya Council.
Accusing the international community of not acting to stop atrocities, it added: "The world has been failing the survivors of Myanmar Genocide. And yet Rohingya are resilient in the pursuit of their rights that have been robbed under the world's eyes."
Calling justice a "top priority" for international communities rather than talk over repatriation to Bangladesh, where more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees fled the atrocities, exiled Rohingya activists Ro Zaw Naing tweeted: "Sad to see that persons who committed Rohingya genocide are still at large in Myanmar."
Irish-based Rohingya advocacy groups the Stateless Rohingya and Rohingya Action Ireland also tweeted demanding justice for the Rohingya genocide. The groups called the Rohingya one of the unique ethnic groups of the southeastern Asian nation of Myanmar.
"The Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, who have been living in independent Arakan Kingdom, now Rakhine State of Myanmar or Burma, for centuries. Their distinct language, culture, tradition and faith make them a unique minority in the Buddhist-majority country," said Rohingya Action Ireland.
Maung Zarni, head of the umbrella group Free Rohingya Coalition, decried the impunity of Myanmar’s army and called the country's de facto leader a criminal.
"Worth revisiting my indictment of Aung San Suu Kyi as Nuremberg-worthy criminal - not a Nobel-worthy leader overseeing a fragile demo-transition on the 2nd Anniversary of Rohingya Genocide Memorial Day," he tweeted.
The Southeast Asia-based Fortify Rights urged the immediate accountability of Myanmar’s army for their crimes in Rakhine state, bordering Bangladesh, perpetrated against the Rohingya.
"Myanmar security forces committed massacres, mass rapes, and other atrocities against Rohingya men, women and children," it said.
Referring to las week’s failed effort to repatriate some 3,500 Rohingya to Myanmar, researcher Azeem Ibrahim tweeted: "Not a single Rohingya volunteered to return to Myanmar because they have [been] completely excluded from any discussions on their own fate. UN motivated by politics not people in Rohingya crisis."
Tun Khin, a genocide survivor and head of the British-based Burmese Rohingya Organization, expressed despair over the two-year Rohingya ordeal since 2017, writing on Twitter: "There's no end in sight to the crisis."
Saudi-based Rohingya National News stressed the preconditions for any repatriation, tweeting: "We urge the International Community to ensure our rights before we go home."
-Bangladesh: Myanmar must do the right thing
Meanwhile, Bangladesh, the host country of more than 1.2 million Rohingya, urged Myanmar to fully concentrate on implementation of its obligations and commitments to its citizens.
"The government of Myanmar should seriously consider a comprehensive engagement of the international community in creating an environment conducive to their [Rohingya] return," said a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday.
The statement added: "Under bilateral instruments for repatriation, the responsibility for encouraging the displaced people to opt for voluntary return lies entirely on Myanmar."
"It is Myanmar’s responsibility to create a conducive environment in Rakhine through decisive actions and to reduce the trust deficit of the Rohingya."
It added: "Accusing Bangladesh of non-cooperation in the repatriation effort by a party which is fully responsible for the protracted crisis is baseless, ill-motivated, and totally unacceptable."
Thousands of Rohingya refugees living in crammed makeshift camps in Bangladesh's southern Cox's Bazar district on Sunday held a large rally at the Kutupalong refugee camp to mark the second Rohingya Genocide Memorial Day, according to local media reports.
Addressing the rally, Rohingya leaders urged the international community to take steps to ensure justice for the genocide carried out against the Rohingya community in Myanmar.
They also reiterated that they would agree to repatriation if their demands for citizenship and a safe and dignified return to their homes of origin in Rakhine, Myanmar with the presence of UN security forces are ensured.
- Persecuted people
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.