MUSLIM NATIONS seek global pressure on Myanmar over Rohingya.

DHAKA : Muslin foreign ministers on Sunday launched a campaign to mobilise international support for action against Myanmar over the Rohingya refugee crisis, officials said.

Foreign ministers and diplomats of the 53 member Organisation of Islamic Conference [OIC] set up a campaign committee during two days of talks in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

OIC secretary general Yousef bin Ahmed AI-Othaimeen called the move a key step towards ending the crisis caused by the exodus of about 700,000 Muslim Rohingya from Buddhist-majority Myanmar into camps in Bangladesh.

He said the new committee would ''mobilise and coordinate international political support for accountability for human rights violations against the Rohingya community.''

''This is very important. This is one of the concrete steps that has been taken to alleviate the problem for our [Rohingya] brothers and sisters,'' he said.

A military campaign launched in Myanmar's Rakhine state in August last year set off the massive influx of the Muslim Minority into Bangladesh where they joined 300,000 refugees already living in squalid camps following previous violence.

The United Nations and United States have said the crackdown amounted to ethnic cleansing. The Myanmar army has said it only targeted the militants.

Rohingya civilians have told of murders and rapes as they fled. They said the army burned hundreds of Rohingya villages to the ground.

AI-Othameen said Muslim nations had to ''pressure the international community.''

''This is not religious, this is human basic rights of our brothers and sisters in the last 50 years,'' he said.

The International Criminal Court prosecutor has already called for the tribunal to rule on whether it can investigate the allegations of mass rape and killings. [AFP]


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