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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Rohingya crisis: Malala Yousafzai calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn violence in Myanmar

Education activist Malala told her fellow Nobel Prize winner Ms Suu Kyi “the world is waiting”

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has condemned the violence against Rohingya Muslims. Ginnette Riquelme/ Reuters
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has condemned the violence against Rohingya Muslims. Ginnette Riquelme/ Reuters

Nobel-Prize winning activist Malala Yousafzai has called for an end to violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The 20-year-old, who survived being shot by the Taliban in Pakistan, condemned the treatment of the Rohingya people and appealed to Myanmar’s leader and fellow Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to resolve the crisis.

In a statement, Malala called for a stop to the violence, the Rohingya to be given citizenship in Myanmar and for other countries, including her birthplace, Pakistan, to give shelter to those fleeing the conflict.

“Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,” she wrote.

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The education activist added: “Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same. The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting.”

The Rohingya have faced decades of persecution in Myanmar, which has a majority Buddhist population.

Around 400 Rohingya are thought to have died in the latest killing spree, which erupted over a week ago, with graphic reports emerging of young children being beheaded and others being burned alive.

Soldiers and armed residents are accused of burning houses and committing atrocities throughout the Rakhine state, the poorest in the country.

Ms Suu Kyi has faced growing criticism internationally for failing to stop the attacks upon the Rohingya.

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson warned the former political prisoner on Saturday that the violence was “besmirching” the reputation of her country.

"Aung Sang Suu Kyi is rightly regarded as one of the most inspiring figures of our age but the treatment of the Rohingya is alas besmirching the reputation of Burma,” Mr Johnson said.

"She faces huge challenges in modernising her country... It is vital that she receives the support of the Burmese military, and that her attempts at peacemaking are not frustrated.

"She and all in Burma will have our full support in this."

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