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Saudi’s King Salman donates $15m to Rohingya Muslims

Saudi’s King Salman donates $15m to Rohingya Muslims

More than 400,000 members of Myanmar’s Muslim minority have fled the country following a government crackdown

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered the donation of $15m to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

The announcement was made by Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, an advisor to the royal court and general supervisor of the King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Work, after a meeting with members of the National Council on US-Arab Relations and the Committee on Cooperation between US Partnerships and GCC Countries at the US House of Representatives in Washington.

The centre is sending a specialised team to Bangladesh, where more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed the border from neighbouring Myanmar following a large government crackdown.

This followed an armed attack on police posts that killed 12 people in August by militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

However, human rights group say the Muslim minority has long been denied citizenship and equal opportunities by the government, which classifies the group as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, prior to the incident.

Yesterday, Myanmar’s de-factor leader Aung San Suu Kyi said the government did not fear “international scrutiny” for its handling of the crisis.

This followed criticism from groups including Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet, which condemned the “terrorist massacres, brutal attacks and genocide committed against the Rohingya Muslims, in Burma, systematic destruction of many villages and homes, which represent one of the worst forms of brutal and bloody terrorism against a Muslim minority.”

The Cabinet renewed calls by the kingdom for the international community to take urgent action to stop violent acts and for the Muslim minority to be given their rights “without discrimination” or “racial classification”.

The UN Human Rights Council has called for access to the Rakhine region to assess the situation.

The King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Work will make an assessment of the condition of refugees in Bangladesh and determine there “essential requirements” to extend assistance in terms of “relief, humanitarian help and shelter”, according to a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.

“As per the directive of the king, the center has carried out a number of projects, while some others are in various phases of implementation,” Al-Rabeeah said.

He added that the centre had also implemented the first phase of a repatriation initiative for Rohingya Muslims in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration.

The Cabinet said the kingdom had donated $50m to the Rohingya thorugh health and educational rehabilitation programmes and hosting them on its territory since 1948.

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