Yesterday, Aung San Suu Kyi & the foreign minister of Bangladesh signed an agreement to forcibly return hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Arakan state starting within two months. The international politics involved in the Rohingya genocide are beyond the unimaginable, beyond the unthinkable, entering a sphere of surreal criminality. The Burmese military is still engaged in its siege of torching Rohingya villages & campaign of extermination, murder, torture, crimes against humanity, sexual violence. Meanwhile, the civilian government announced it is building “repatriation camps” for the Rohingya which means more concentration camps like the 36 they built after the 2012 genocidal siege.
There can be no forced repatriation of the Rohingya without the complete withdrawal of the Burmese military & the dismantling of all its bases in Arakan state. There can be no forced repatriation without allowing thousands of human rights monitors & journalists to enter the state. Mostly, there can be no repatriation of Rohingya refugees without their direct involvement in all decisions about if, when, & under what conditions they will return. What the hell makes Suu Kyi & Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina think they have the right to preempt the judgement of the Rohingya people? Who in their right minds would put Suu Kyi in charge of repatriating refugees when her government plans on warehousing them in concentration camps until another siege of extermination?
These little brothers are one of hundreds of photos documenting what the Burmese military did to Rohingya, including small children, just in the past three months. That doesn’t even begin to describe how monstrously many were murdered nor the emotional scars suffered by nearly a million refugees as well as those remaining in Arakan state.
If we don’t stand with the Rohingya people, every struggle against war, occupation, genocide will be set back.
(Photo by Jorge Silva/Reuters)