Myanmar is in trouble once again. The Southeast Asian nation (of more than 100 ethnic groups) – which is yet to resolve the Rohingya crisis – is facing a war-like situation, as the minority Christian community has come under attack.
The local media have reported that around 4,000 people recently fled renewed fighting between the Army and ethnic Kachin rebels in the northernmost province. Mark Cutts – the head of the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – has expressed serious concern over the situation, saying that so many people, including pregnant women, children and handicapped, are still in danger.
Although Myanmar is a multi-religious country, the main religion of the nation is Buddhism. However, Kachin is an exception, as majority of the people are Christian there. The Kachin rebels have been fighting for greater autonomy in Myanmar since 1961. A ceasefire between the Myanmarese government and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) was declared in 2011. However, the two parties violated the ceasefire in 2017 and sporadic fighting has taken place since then. The government forces are facing difficulties as the KIO is one of the strongest militant outfits in the country.
A group of Rohingya at the Leda makeshift settlement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, watch as houses burn just across the border in Myanmar.
Yangon recently admitted that at least 15,000 people have left the country so far this year, while 90,000 have taken shelter in various camps in Kachin and in neighbouring Shan province. Meanwhile, the government is yet to confirm the number of casualties in conflict-stricken areas.
Rights groups say that the Myanmarese Army is pounding the Christians with airstrikes and artillery, as the global attention still focuses on the Rohingya issue. Citing a report prepared by the UNHR, they say that the “spike in human rights violations and abuses” – including extrajudicial killings, torture and sexual violence – makes Myanmar a horrible place to live.
Some of the world’s longest running civil wars are taking place in Myanmar’s border states, where ethnic minority groups are fighting for greater autonomy and resisting the Army’s efforts to eliminate them. The scenario has prompted most of the country’s estimated 4 million Christians to take shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh, China, India and Thailand, thus, triggering a migrant crisis in the region.
Unfortunately, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is yet to condemn the attack on minority Christians.
Boundless Ocean of Politics on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boundlessoceanofpolitics/
Boundless Ocean of Politics on Google Plus:
Boundless Ocean of Politics on Twitter:
Boundless Ocean of Politics on Linkedin:
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org