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Russian Muslims launch campaign to send humanitarian aid to Myanmar

Some $9,844 have been collected and organizers plan to raise some $104,300

MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Muslim foundation Zakyat has launched a campaign to raise funds and send humanitarian assistance to Myanmar’s citizens oppressed in the Southeast Asian country.

"The Zakyat charity foundation announces launching a campaign "Help the Oppressed People in Myanmar," it said. Its goal is to collect funds and arrange humanitarian aid delivery to the Muslims suffering in Myanmar.

"We cannot stop that evil happening in Myanmar by acting alone, but together we can provide support and extend a helping hand to these poor people. Thanks to our common efforts, we will provide the refugees with all the necessary medicines, food and clothes," it said.

As of Wednesday, some 566,000 rubles ($9,844) have been collected and organizers plan to raise some 6 mln rubles ($104,300). The campaign will last until October 5 and everyone can make a donation.

"We, the Muslims of Russia, call on all the parties to the conflict to avoid any steps that could escalate violence, as well as the use of force in attempts to remove differences, and immediately sit at the negotiating table to solve the accumulated inter-ethnic and inter-religious problems," the statement reads.

The Spiritual Department for Russian Muslims also urged international organizations to take advantage of their political influence to prevent the further escalation of conflict and help the opposing sides outline peaceful approaches to resolving the situation.

Myanmar’s Rohingya, a mostly Muslim people, live in the state of Rakhine, in the country’s west. Local authorities consider them illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The state has seen numerous religious conflicts that sparked clashes between Muslims and local Buddhists. Thousands have been killed in clashes in the recent years.

The situation deteriorated on August 25, when hundreds of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army militants attacked 30 police stations. Clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in western Myanmar have claimed more than 400 lives over the past week, mostly Rohingya militants. Another 146,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh.