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Myanmar coup

Rohingya in Bangladesh camps rejoice at Suu Kyi detention

Rohingya Muslims in refugee camps celebrated Aung San Suu Kyi's detention by the army on February 1, with Myanmar's civilian leader coming under increasing criticism for her failure to condemn the brutal military crackdown against the minority group

Agence France-Presse
February 2, 2021
Rohingya in Bangladesh camps rejoice at Suu Kyi detention
(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 10, 2019 people participate in a rally in support of Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as she prepares to defend Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in The Hague against accusations of genocide against Rohingya Muslims, in Yangon. - Myanmar's military has detained the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's president in a coup, a spokesman for her ruling party said February 1, 2021. (Photo by Sai Aung Main / AFP)

Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar for Bangladesh after a brutal military crackdown three years ago celebrated Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention by the army on Monday.

Around 740,000 Rohingya made the journey from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into the neighbouring country after operations in August 2017 that the United Nations has said could be genocide.

Suu Kyi was the country’s de facto leader at the time and defended the Myanmar military at an International Criminal Court hearing in 2019 into atrocities against the Rohingya, including rape and murder.

The news of Suu Kyi’s arrest spread quickly in the crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh where about one million Rohingya refugees now live.

“She is the reason behind all of our suffering. Why shouldn’t we celebrate?”, community leader Farid Ullah told AFP from Kutupalong — the world’s largest refugee settlement.

She was our last hope, but she ignored our plight and supported the genocide against the Rohingya

Mohammad Yusuf, a leader at the neighbouring Balukhali camp, said: “She was our last hope, but she ignored our plight and supported the genocide against the Rohingya.”

Some Rohingya held special prayers to welcome the “justice” meted out to the Nobel peace prize winner, said Mirza Ghalib, a refugee at the Nayapara camp.

“If the camp authorities had allowed it, you would have seen thousands of Rohingya out on celebration marches,” he told AFP.

Maung Kyaw Min, the spokesman for the influential Rohingya Student Union, said there was now increased hope that Rohingya might return to their villages in Myanmar.

“Unlike an elected government, this military (government) will need international support to sustain. So we hope they will focus on the Rohingya issue to reduce international pressure,” he said.

Bangladesh authorities said they were “monitoring” the 270-kilometre (168-mile) border in case of a new influx of Rohingya refugees.

Dhaka issued a statement calling for “the democratic process” to be upheld in Myanmar.

While Bangladesh and Myanmar have made accords on repatriating refugees, none have gone back.

Bangladesh called on Myanmar to step up the repatriation process in “earnest”.

© Agence France-Presse

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