Dhaka [Bangladesh], Aug 25 (ANI): Thousands of Rohingyas on Sunday marked the second anniversary of the crackdown launched against the refugee community in northwest Rakhine state by the Myanmar military two years ago.
Although the crackdown began after 12 Myanmar security personnel were killed allegedly by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), there have been credible reports that the preparations to systemically eradicate the Rohingyas from Rakhine began long before the incident involving ARSA. Many believe that the incident was just an excuse to launch a brutal military campaign against unarmed and innocent civilians, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The campaign was then described as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing by the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.
The barbaric actions of Myanmar continued for several months and forced about 740,000 Rohingyas, to cross the border to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh to save their lives.
According to Al Jazeera, the refugee community marked the day by rallying and demanding Myanmar to grant them citizenship and other rights before their return to Rakhine.
Children, women wearing hijabs, and men shouted, "God is great, long live Rohingya" as they marched in the heart of the world's largest refugee camp to commemorate what they described as "Genocide Day".
Some carried placards and banners, reading "Never again! Rohingya genocide remembrance day" and "Restore our citizenship".
Sunday's rally came after the Bangladesh police on Saturday said they shot dead two refugees during a gunfight in a camp after the pair were accused of killing a ruling party official.
The Rohingya, a mainly Muslim minority, is not recognised as an ethnic group in Myanmar, despite having lived there for generations. They have been denied citizenship and are rendered stateless.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal in November 2017, with a plan to return the refugees within two years.
Bangladesh, with the help of the UN refugee agency, has once again started the repatriation of the refugees on last Thursday for the second time after the failed attempt in November last year, however, none agreed to go back voluntarily. (ANI)