UN urges Myan­mar to pun­ish per­pe­tra­tors of Ro­hingya at­tacks

The Miracle - - Middle East -

UNITED NA­TIONS: The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil urged Myan­mar’s govern­ment on Wed­nes­day to ful­fill its com­mit­ment to hold per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lence against Ro­hingya Mus­lims ac­count­able and to ad­dress the root causes that led about 700,000 mem­bers of the eth­nic mi­nor­ity to flee to Bangladesh. The coun­cil press state­ment made no men­tion of the ap­peal by four hu­man rights groups on Tues­day for the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to re­fer Myan­mar to the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court for al­leged crimes against hu­man­ity, in­clud­ing tar­get­ing the Ro­hingya. The four rights groups — Amnesty In­ter­na­tional, Hu­man Rights Watch, the Global Cen­ter for the Re­spon­si­bil­ity to Pro­tect, and For­tify Rights — said Myan­mar’s govern­ment is in­ca­pable of bring­ing those re­spon­si­ble for such crimes to jus­tice. The coun­cil state­ment on Wed­nes­day reaf­firmed its most sig­nif­i­cant pro­nounce­ment on the Ro­hingya, a pres­i­den­tial state­ment it adopted in Novem­ber. That state­ment stressed “the im­por­tance of un­der­tak­ing trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al­le­ga­tions of hu­man rights abuses and vi­o­la­tions ... and of hold­ing to ac­count all those re­spon­si­ble for such acts to pro­vide jus­tice for vic­tims.” The lat­est cri­sis be­gan with at­tacks by Ro­hingya in­sur­gents on Myan­mar se­cu­rity per­son­nel last Au­gust. Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary re­sponded with coun­terin­sur­gency sweeps and was ac­cused of wide­spread hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, in­clud­ing rape, mur­der, tor­ture and the burn­ing of Ro­hingya homes. Thou­sands are be­lieved to have died and the UN and US of­fi­cials have called the govern­ment’s mil­i­tary cam­paign eth­nic cleans­ing. The Ro­hingya face of­fi­cial and so­cial discrimination in pre­dom­i­nantly Bud­dhist Myan­mar, which de­nies most of them cit­i­zen­ship and ba­sic rights be­cause they are looked on as im­mi­grants from Bangladesh, even though the fam­i­lies of many set­tled in Myan­mar gen­er­a­tions ago. The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil state­ment said that dur­ing its trip mem­bers ob­served “wide­spread de­struc­tion of vil­lages” in north­ern Rakhine State, and “were struck by the scale of the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis and re­main gravely con­cerned by the cur­rent si­t­u­a­tion.” It urged all coun­tries to in­crease sup­port to Bangladesh to care for the refugees. The coun­cil said mem­bers noted Myan­mar’s ef­forts to pre­pare for the repa­tri­a­tion of refugees from Bangladesh and urged the govern­ment to cre­ate con­di­tions con­ducive for their “safe, vol­un­tary and dig­ni­fied re­turn” to their homes in Rakhine. It wel­comed Myan­mar’s com­mit­ment to work with the UN and urged the govern­ment to grant UN agen­cies and their part­ners, who have been barred from Rakhine, “im­me­di­ate, safe and un­hin­dered ac­cess.” The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has sched­uled an open brief­ing on the trip for May 14 and the state­ment said mem­bers in­tend to dis­cuss in the com­ing days how it can work with both coun­tries and the new UN spe­cial en­voy “to re­solve the cri­sis and cre­ate the con­di­tions” for the Ro­hingya to re­turn home.

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