OIC urges UN to help Myanmar Muslims

UNITED NATIONS: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on the UN to make more efforts to end the tyranny that Muslims are facing in Myanmar.

During a Wednesday meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, OIC envoys said that the UN should put pressure on Myanmar’s government to resolve problems the Rohingya Muslim community is facing in the country.

“Myanmar is having a honeymoon with the world. The only problem is that that honeymoon is being built on the bodies of the Muslim victims in that country,” said Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdullah al-Mouallemi.

Hundreds of Rohingyas have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists in Myanmar over the past year.

Roble Olhaye, Djibouti’s UN ambassador and head of the OIC group at the UN, described the anti-Muslim attacks in the country as “ethnic cleansing.”

“The Myanmar authorities are failing to take the necessary measures to stem the violence,” he added at a press conference with Mouallemi.

“What we need from the UN is to have its voice heard loud and clear, being the conscience of the world,” Olhaye said.

The Saudi envoy to the UN also stated that the UN chief had pledged to do more in defending the rights of Rohingya Muslims. “There is a lot more that the UN can and should do,” Mouallemi said.

“We called on the secretary general to interfere to make his voice heard more loudly.”

“The most basic human rights and human values are being stepped upon by the current government and by the radical elements within Myanmar,” Mouallemi added.

“There has to be an end to the killing, that is much more basic, there has to be an end to the persecution, to the tyranny that this population is facing,” he said.

The Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar accounts for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million. The persecuted minority has faced torture, neglect, and repression since Myanmar’s independence in 1948.

Thousands of Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine are deprived of citizenship rights, becoming vulnerable to acts of violence, expulsion, and displacement.