AN ORGANIZATIONAL LETTER
REGARDING MYANMAR’S MILITARY CAMPAIGN TARGETING
ROHINGYA CIVILIANS IN MYANMAR
September 5, 2017
On August 25, 2017, the Myanmar Military bombed 25 Rohingya villages reportedly using six gunship helicopters, navy ships and tanks as Rohingya families slept. Reports indicated that soldiers have been shooting at fleeing Rohingya civilians. This has clearly been an effort to sabotage the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan report’s recommendations for peaceful coexistence, which was released only hours before. Now over 120,000 Rohingya have fled their ruined villages into Bangladesh, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of displaced families with no access to food or humanitarian relief.
We the undersigned organizations call on the US Secretary of State to demand that the Burmese Government immediately de-escalate and withdraw its armed forces from the Rohingya areas of Rakhine State and arrest those engaged in firing on civilians and raping women; and ask Bangladesh to accept and assist Rohingya refugees crossing its border. In Congress, and through the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the United States should continue to publicly endorse the Kofi Annan-led Rakhine Commission recommendations and not let this vision of peace and coexistence be forgotten by either the public or policymakers.
For the weeks, the Myanmar military has been building its troops in Rohingya areas. Together with the UN, the US Congress, advocacy groups such as Human Rights Watch and Burma Task Force, Pope Francis and leaders around the world have been calling for the Myanmar military to stand down to avoid violence.
We join with such voices to call on the Myanmar government to rein in the Myanmar military, which has been working to empower Rakhine Buddhist extremists. Reports indicate the army has been arming these extremist militias to further escalate an extremely dangerous situation.
The Myanmar military claims Rohingya "insurgents" are being killed, along with soldiers. However, the military has again and again demonstrated that it does not distinguish between civilians and insurgents. The Myanmar government refuses to allow a UN investigative team into Myanmar to follow up on the many allegations of atrocities that took place in 2016.
The Myanmar government has consistently ignored international pressure to return rights to the Rohingya minority. Despite Aung San Suu Kyi serving as a figurehead, the Bamar-dominated military clearly still controls the government, with an extremist ideology that prevents peace not only with the Rohingya but with many other ethnic groups in Shan, Kachin, Mon & other states.
Buddhist Council of New York
Burmese Muslim American Association (BAMA)
Burma Task Force USA (18 Muslim organizations. See the list below)
Centre for Human Rights and Advocacy (CENTHRA)
Helping Children of Adam
Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, Binghamton University (I-GMAP)
Interfaith Center of New York
Jewish Alliance of Concern Over Burma
Kalamazoo Islamic Center
Labor Religion Alliance
Maghrib Institute- Nurayn
Muslim Civic Institute - Kansas City
Muslim Youth Movement South Africa
Pax Christi USA (Catholic)
Pax Christi Maine
Pax Christi Metro New York
Pax Christi Metro DC/Baltimore.
Rohingya Culture Center (RCC), Chicago
Rohingya American Society (RAS, Wisconsin)
South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship & Training (SAFEST)
South Asian Solidarity Foundation
Turning Point for Women and Families
UMKC - MSA
US Campaign for Burma
World Rohingya Organization (WRO)
Burma Task Force USA organizational membership:
Burmese Rohingya Association of North America
Free Rohingya Campaign
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA NY & Canada)
Islamic Council of New England (ICNE)
Islamic Organization of North America (IONA)
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Justice For All
Majlis Shura of Atlanta
Michigan Muslim Community Council
Muslim American Society (MAS)
Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA)
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA)
Muslim Leadership Council of New York
Muslim Peace Coalition
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