Help the vulnerable caught in Rohingya conflict

The United Nations recently issued a dire warning that the ongoing violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar could lead to an exodus of hundreds of thousands Rohingyas, with over 146,000 of the persecuted Muslim minority already fleeing Myanmar's security forces.

The ongoing humanitarian aid by the international relief agencies is important but, regrettably, insufficient, in this worst humanitarian crisis we have seen in recent times.

It is regrettable that few Asian leaders have yet to openly denounce the violence (Humanitarian effort by Asean a possibility; Sept 7).

There is no permanent solution to this Rohingya issue. We need to look at it objectively and not emotionally.

The fact remains that the Rohingya are stateless, since Myanmar law disallows citizenship to them, even though they have been living in Rakhine state of the country since the eighth century.

I believe this lack of citizenship is at the root of many vulnerabilities that the Rohingya face routinely.

A share of the blame must be also placed on the Rohingya insurgents, in particular, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

It was their coordinated attacks on Aug 25 on 30 police posts and an army base which resulted in the deaths of over 100 people and led to the flight of large numbers of Muslim Rohingya refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Their actions triggered fresh violence.

Let us do our part to ease the pain and suffering of the innocent, including the babies, children, women and elderly who are caught in this ongoing conflict.

Sattar Bawany (Professor)