Philippines’ Duterte cites “genocide” in Myanmar, says will take refugees

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday “genocide” was taking place in Myanmar and he was willing to accept Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing from it, though Europe should help too.

The United Nations and rights groups say some 700,000 people, most of them Rohingya, have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh since August last year when Rohingya militant attacks on the security forces sparked a military crackdown.

The United Nations and several Western countries have said the Myanmar action constitutes ethnic cleansing but Myanmar rejects that. It says its security forces have been conducting legitimate operations against “terrorists”.

Ten Rohingya Muslim men with their hands bound kneel in Inn Din village Sept 1, 2017. Reuters

Duterte, in a wide-ranging speech to farmers and agriculture officials at the presidential palace, touched on various issues including his recent decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court over its decision to open a preliminary investigation into his bloody war on drugs.
Drawing the ire of officials in Myanmar, Duterte then expressed sympathy for the Rohingya and offered to help.

“I really pity the people there,” Duterte said. “I’m willing to accept refugees. Rohingyas, yes. I will help but we should split them with Europe.”

He also mentioned the inability of the international community to resolve problems in Myanmar.

“They can’t even solve the Rohingya. That’s what genocide is, if I may say so,” Duterte said.

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Md. Rafiuzzaman Sifat, a CSE graduate turned into journalist, works at News Hour as a staff reporter. He has many years of experience in featured writing in different Bangladeshi newspapers. He is an active blogger, story writer and social network activist. He published a book named 'Se Amar Gopon' inEkushe boi mela Dhaka 2016. Sifat got a BSc. from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. He also works as an Engineer at Bangla Trac Communications Ltd. As an avid traveler and a gourmet food aficionado, he is active in publishing restaurant reviews and cutting-edge articles about culinary culture.

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