Picket of Myanmar mission in S.Africa turns violent
A march by hundreds of demonstrators outside Myanmar's embassy in South Africa against Naypyidaw's alleged "ethnic cleansing" of its Rohingya minority people turned violent on Friday, an AFP journalist reported.
Police outside the mission in Pretoria fired teargas and stun grenades to disperse the angry crowd who carried placards that read “stop genocide of Rohingya” and “the face of Buddhist terror”.
The UN has accused Buddhist-dominated Myanmar of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the largely Muslim stateless group, who say the military has launched a brutal crackdown in Rakhine state.
“Rakhine state is on fire,” said Olof Blomqvist, a researcher with Amnesty International, in a “clear campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar security forces”.
Many of the protesters who gathered in the leafy district of South Africa’s administrative capital for the picket wore items of Muslim religious clothing.
“We are trying to bring this to the world’s attention to put some pressure on governments,” Moulana Bham, a member of the Council of Muslim Theologians, told the EWN news site ahead of the march.