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A blatant act of defiance

  • Published at 06:34 pm September 5th, 2017
A blatant act of defiance
There is no doubt that Myanmar’s systematic killing of the Rohingya minority is ethnic cleansing on a scale not seen in recent times. But the country has reached a new low by not allowing various non-governmental organisations from providing aid to the desperate civilians in the conflict-ridden northern Rakhine State. At least 16 major NGOs including Oxfam and Save the Children have been denied access to the conflict zone by the Myanmar government, impeding their work in bringing much-needed vital supplies such as food, water, and medication to those suffering. By denying the Rohingya outside aid, Myanmar makes it clear it would like to see the group isolated, and starved to death. This is merely the latest in a long line of horrifying moves on part of the Myanmar government that deserves the loudest condemnation. Staff from UNHCR, UNFPA, and UNICEF were unable to conduct any of their fieldwork in the conflict zone, while the UN’s World Food Program had to suspend their relief work in other parts of the state mid-distribution. We must ask: Why is Myanmar doing this? The Myanmar army is carrying out its killings unabated, with next to no intervention from the international community. Denying the Rohingya this much-needed aid is tantamount to rubbing salt on a wound that has been left festering for far too long. If this blatant act of defiance does not jolt the international community into finally taking action, then what will?