Alwaght- Almost 200,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh have participated in a gathering in Kutupalong camp on Sunday to markthe second anniversary of the Myanmarese army’s brutal crackdown that displaced them, AFP news agency reported.
Children, hijab-wearing women, and men in long-skirt lungis shouted: "God is great, long live Rohingya" as they marched at the heart of the world's largest refugee camp to commemorate what they described as a "Genocide Day".
Some carried placards and banners, reading "Never again! Rohingya genocide remembrance day" and "Restore our citizenship".
On August 25, 2017, nearly 740,000 Muslim-majority Rohingya fled Rakhine State for Bangladesh - joining 200,000 already there - after Myanmar's armed forces launched a brutal crackdown following attacks on security posts.
The United Nations termed the offensive “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” with soldiers engaging in rape, murder, and the burning down of entire Rohingya villages.
Sunday's rally came days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the refugees, which saw not a single Rohingya turn up to return across the border.
"We want to tell the world that we want our rights back, we want citizenship, we want our homes and land back," Muhib Ullah, one of the organisers of Sunday's protest, told the Associated Press news agency. "Myanmar is our country. We are Rohingya."
"I have come here to seek justice for the murder of my two sons. I will continue to seek justice till my last breath," 50-year-old Tayaba Khatun told AFP news agency as tears rolled down her cheeks.
The Rohingya, a mainly Muslim minority, are not recognized as an ethnic group in Myanmar, despite having lived there for generations. They have been denied citizenship and are rendered stateless.