OIC to convene in Djibouti to condemn violence on Rohingya Muslims

November 11, 2012, Sunday/ 16:47:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is preparing to hold a foreign ministerial meeting next week to discuss recent developments in Myanmar, where many Rohingya Muslim villages have come under attack by Buddhist mobs, forcing thousands to flee.

OIC is also mobilizing efforts to have the issue of the Rohingya Muslims, a group exposed to deliberate and systematic violence in Myanmar, addressed at the UN Security Council.

The OIC has been very active in bringing international attention to the plight of Rohingya Muslims. The organization held a high-level summit in Mecca in August, where resolutions were adopted providing tangible actions for implementation, including financial support and the appointment of an OIC special envoy for the issue.

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu had dispatched two high-level fact-finding delegations to Myanmar who met with Myanmar President Thein Sein, senior officials and members of the Rakhine community, in whose region the violence has been perpetrated. İhsanoğlu also sent letters to President Sein, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Nobel Peace laureate and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi on the issue of Rohingya Muslims.

A total of 1 million Muslims live in Arakan province in Myanmar, the location of the recently escalating violence in the country, near Bangladesh. The first sign of violence appeared in June after claims that three Rohingya Muslims raped a Buddhist woman. After the incident, fanatical Buddhists started killing Muslims living in Arakan province and also burned houses and workplaces belonging to the minority group.

An estimated 9,000 Rohingyas took to land and sea routes in an attempt to escape the violence, adding to around 70,000 IDPs (internally displaced persons) already in refugee camps before the recent attacks.

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