Refugees

The west African nation agrees to help Rohingya Muslims by setting them up in refugee camps.

In a stark contrast to the opinion of Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s government released a proposed statement to allow the Rohingya refugees to find their home there. Over the past several years, and long before it became national news, the Rohingya Muslims have been terrorized in their very own country. In line with an ethnic cleanse, the Rohingya are forced to live in shoddy little camps on the border between Bangladesh and Burma. Many feel they can’t leave their homes for fear of being killed, which is not uncommon there. The country has mass graves holding the men, women and children who have been murdered since 2012. Over 125,000 Rohingya have been forced to relocate, but not permitted to leave. Their homes are terrorized, communities burned, women are assaulted and many are sold into sex slavery or used for drug trafficking.

The Big Secret in Burma

Burma authorities, along with Buddhist monks and the Arakanese groups, have been forcibly moving the Rohingya Muslims. They have been denying them access to medical attention, humanitarian aid and their movements are severely limited. After several months of ethnic cleansing announcements, attacks on Muslim communities became more severe. One young lady shared an account of her elder brother, a religious teacher, who was taken to be killed and returned, days later, with his extremities cut off.

Gambia is among the first to offer the Rohingya refugees aid in their plight. Over the last 16 years, over 3,000 migrants have washed ashore or been picked up off the coast. The government offers to take the refugees and supply them with refugee camps. However, the less-than-wealthy country needs the help of other countries in ensuring that the camps are sanitary and have everything a human being could need. Gambia released a statement that they “note with grave concern the inhumane condition of the Rohingya people of Myanmar… currently drifting in the seas off the coast of Malaysia and Indonesia.” In the statement, they were referencing Thailand and Indonesia’s refusal to take in these migrants. They put in a request for people to send items like bedding, medicine and tents for the refugees.

Jammeh, the president of Gambia since 1994 when he forcibly took over, has remained silent for some time on this matter. However, he finally spoke on television about it to say that, were the migrants really Muslim, they would be willing “to invest and work.”

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