YANGON, MYANMAR (January 10, 2017) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) strongly condemns violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. As a global humanitarian organization, with operations in 39 countries, including Myanmar, we are committed to providing compassionate medical care to all people affected by HIV/AIDS regardless of ethnicity or religious creed.
Since August 2017, over 650,000 Rohingyas out of a population of one-million, have been forced by systematic killings, rape and arson to flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) reports that in the first month of the conflict alone, 8,170 people died due to violence, including 1,247 children under five-years-old. This is an inexcusable attack on human life and dignity and a tragedy that affects us all.
If the struggle against AIDS has taught us anything, it is that we are one global community, all striving for the same human desires of love, fulfillment and a safe, peaceful existence for ourselves and our families.
As the dark lessons of recent history from Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur clearly show, it is easy to get mired in prejudices that divide people. It is far more difficult to face uncomfortable truths about ourselves and our neighbors in a reflective effort to find reconciliation and build mutual understanding. But, as difficult as that path might be, it is the only way out of the current conflict in Myanmar.
AHF calls on the international community and all sides of the conflict in Myanmar to seek an immediate end to violence. The Rohingyas must be allowed to return from Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar without fear of continued persecution. Only when their safety is assured, can a meaningful dialogue begin about a peaceful end to the crisis.
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AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 855,000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.