Israel Reportedly Arming Myanmar Amid Ongoing Rohingya Crackdown

Israel continues selling arms to Myanmar despite reports of the government’s violent clampdown on the minority Rohingya Muslims, the Middle East Eye said citing its sources.

According to human rights groups and Myanmar officials, the Jewish state has supplied over 100 tanks, motorboats and other weapons used by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya Muslims.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday that arms deals between Tel Aviv and Yangon were in full swing despite UN and EU embargoes on the sale of arms to Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Israel’s High Court of Justice is going to consider a petition by activists urging the government to halt all arms exports to Myanmar.

The petition was submitted in January, after a delegation of Israeli officials visited Yangon to negotiate arms shipments to Myanmar.

Israel is not the only country supplying arms to Myanmar though.

“Last year the British government spent over £300,000 of taxpayers’ money in training the Myanmar military whose commander-in-chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, was welcomed by EU military chiefs eager to engage in arms sales and training,” Penny Green, director of the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University in London, told The Middle East Eye (MEE) online news portal.

On Tuesday, the United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, appealed to Myanmar to end its violent suppression of Rohingya Muslims which has already forced more than 120,000 Rohingya people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

The Rohingya conflict in Myanmar, which caught its second wind in August 2017, appears to be a crisis long in the making: the conflict between the country’s Buddhists and Muslims actually originates from the 19th century.

The latest flare-up between Myanmar’s Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslims, widely viewed in Myanmar as newcomers and outcasts, erupted in Rakhine state in August and has prompted a wave of protests across the world over what has been dubbed disproportionate use of force by the government.

This brings to 233,000 the total number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October 2016, when Rohingya insurgents staged similar, but smaller attacks on security posts.




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