Will Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Rakhine State bring succour to Rohingyas?
Naypyidaw, Nov 2: On Thursday, Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi decided to visit violence-hit Rakhine State which is on a boil since August 25 leading to the exodus of more than 605,000 Rohingyas to neighbouring Bangladesh.
"Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi is making her first visit to conflict-battered northern Rakhine State: AFP," tweeted ANI.
Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi is making her first visit to conflict-battered northern Rakhine State: AFP— ANI (@ANI) November 2, 2017
According to officials, Suu Kyi will be visiting the regional capital Sittwe and other towns during a day-long trip. It is not clear whether she would be visiting any of the Rohingya villages from which people are fleeing in thousands every day to Bangladesh.
Her trip came as a surprise to many as it was unannounced. The Noble Peace laureate has been criticised around the world for not stopping a military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.
The United Nations (UN) has termed the violence and persecution against the Rohingyas by Myanmar's military as "ethnic cleansing".
The trouble in Rakhine State started after a newly emerged militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), carried out deadly attacks on police stations across the state. Afterwards, the military conducted its crackdown against the Rohingyas in their villages.
Scores of people were killed in the ensuing military crackdown, and there are widespread allegations of villages being burned and Rohingya being driven out.
On Thursday, government spokesman Zaw Htay told AFP that Suu Kyi was "now in Sittwe and will go to Maungdaw and Buthiduang too". "It will be a day-long trip," he added.
Days after China expressed its support to Bangladesh to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis; the United States on Wednesday has come forward to help the country in the "safe, sustainable and dignified repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals".
According to an estimate at least 605,000 Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Rakhine State on August 25. Bangladesh has been urging Myanmar to take back its "nationals" who are currently staying in cramped and unhygienic refugees camps spread across Cox's Bazar district.