Genocide threat for Myanmar’s Rohingya greater than ever, investigators warn Human Rights Council

IOM/Mohammed Rohingya refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in Myanmar.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya who remain in Myanmar may face a greater threat of genocide than ever, amid Government attempts to “erase their identity and remove them from the country”, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Monday.

In a report detailing alleged violations in Myanmar over the last year, the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission, insists that many of the conditions that led to “killings, rapes and gang rapes, torture, forced displacement and other grave rights violations” by the country’s military, that prompted some 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh in 2017, are still present.

Citing the lack of accountability for the perpetrators of these alleged crimes, as well as the failure by Myanmar “to investigate genocide and to enact effective legislation criminalizing and punishing genocide”, the UN-appointed independent panel concludes “that the evidence that infers genocidal intent on the part of the State…has strengthened, that there is a serious risk that genocidal actions may occur or recur”.

Echoing those findings, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee told the Human Rights Council earlier on Monday that Myanmar had “done nothing to dismantle the system of violence and persecution” against the Rohingya who live in the “same dire circumstances that they did, prior to the events of August 2017”.

Citing satellite imagery of destroyed Rohingya villages, Ms. Lee questioned Myanmar’s assertion that it rebuilt areas affected by the violence, given that there were “six military bases that have been built on the site of destroyed Rohingya villages”.

Of nearly 400 Rohingya villages apparently destroyed, “there has been no attempt to reconstruct 320 of them”, the Special Rapporteur noted, and four in 10 villages had been “completely razed to the ground”.

Some of that demolition occurred in 2018 and some even in 2019 “and all of this is completely antithetical to the claim that Myanmar is ready to receive the refugees (back from Bangladesh)”, Ms. Lee insisted.

600,000 Rohingya ‘remain the target’ of Myanmar authorities

According to the International Fact-Finding Mission’s near 200-page report, the abuses it found were not on the same scale as the “clearance operations” conducted against Rohingya communities in the summer of 2017.

Nonetheless, the 600,000 mainly-Muslim Rohingya still in Myanmar “remain the target” of Government efforts to remove them from the country, the expert panel insisted.

The threats the Rohingya minority face include a “continuation of hate speech” and discrimination that affects their ability to work, attend school, seek medical care “or even pray and congregate”, the report notes.

Ongoing gross rights violations still occurring, says rights investigator

Echoing those comments, Ms. Lee insisted that Myanmar “continues to be a State that commits ongoing gross violations of international law”.

Humanitarian access remains severely restricted by the State, she went on, and all those involved in the violence – among them, the Tatmadaw State military and the Arakan separatist army – have been responsible for “indiscriminate…heavy artillery fire, gunfire and landmines in civilian areas” linked to the displacement of some 65,000 people across northern Rakhine and southern Chin states since January.

Highlighting information about “reprisals, surveillance and harassment” of people in Myanmar and outside the country who have cooperated with international human rights mechanisms, Ms. Lee urged the international community to continue to scrutinize events in Myanmar.

“The parties to the conflict must end their hostilities – the people of Rakhine have suffered enough,” she insisted.

In addition to reports of up to six villages being burned deliberately since the end of June, the Special Rapporteur also noted with concern that the Government-imposed internet blackout has been in place for nearly three months in Kyauktaw, Minbya, Ponnagyun and Mrauk-U, “where the worst fighting is happening”.

Conflict escalated on 15 August when separatists launched attacks in northern Shan and Mandalay, Ms. Lee explained, “killing and injuring soldiers, police officers, and civilians”. This sparked intense fighting between the Tatmadaw State military and the ethnic armed organizations in northern Shan which led to the death of a farmer killed when Tatmadaw “reportedly fired mortars into his village as people were fleeing military helicopters conducting air strikes nearby”.

Ceasefires welcomed but peace talks still in doubt

While welcoming the separatists’ unilateral ceasefire declared last week ahead of peace talks with the Government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Commission scheduled for Tuesday, Ms. Lee questioned whether the Tatmadaw were serious about bringing about peace after launching operations against Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) separatists – despite also saying that they were laying down their weapons.

In a related development, UN-appointed independent human rights experts expressed serious concerns on Monday about new restrictions at Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, following a massive “Genocide Day” protest last month.

In a statement, the six Special Rapporteurs said that some 200,000 refugees had gathered for the rally in Cox’s Bazar to mark the second anniversary of their exodus from Myanmar.

Demonstrators called for Myanmar citizenship rights and other guarantees before they would agree to return.

“Since the demonstration at Cox’s Bazar on 25 August, a number of the protest organisers have been questioned and subjected to intimidation,” the experts said.

A curfew is also being strictly enforced on those in the camps, they added, while mobile phones have been banned and confiscated.

Myanmar responds

In response to the allegations, the delegation for Myanmar maintained that the country faced development and human rights challenges, which were one and the same thing.

The Myanmar constitution prohibits the targeting of minorities, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun insisted, before adding that there had been only temporary internet shutdowns in Rakhine and Shan states in response to insurgents’ alleged use of wireless technology to detonate bombs.

Blaming separatists for the Rohingya exodus in 2017, the Ambassador maintained that the tragedy had been exploited for political purposes.

“It is crystal clear” that there are people who want to return to Myanmar, he added, before rejecting any attempt by the international community to prosecute State military figures allegedly responsible for grave rights violations against the Rohingya unless all national remedies had been exhausted.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Fleeing Venezuela: MEPs to probe humanitarian conditions in Colombia and Brazil

Is a uniform CO2 emission linked car taxation possible in the EU?

Italy can stand the US rating agencies’ meaningless degrading

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

Boris to end up in jail if he loses the next elections?

IMF’s Lagarde: Ukraine must fight corruption

Your computer can help scientists find a cure for COVID-19. Here’s how

Protectionism doesn’t stand a chance in the age of connectivity

Commission considers anti-dumping duty on Chinese solar glass imports

Future of Insurance Claims in Focus at Fourth Annual Connected Claims Europe Summit

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

MEPs back plans to halt spread of drug resistance from animals to humans

10 start-ups that are helping to change the Arab world

Corruption thwarts attempts to build a better world and ‘must be fought by all, for all’

US now has most coronavirus cases in the world – Today’s coronavirus updates

Continuing incarceration of women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, ‘reprehensible’: UN experts

The benefits of a cashless society

ECB intervenes to clean May’s and Schäuble’s mess

Education in Emergencies: EU announces record humanitarian funding for 2019 and launches #RaiseYourPencil Campaign

You might soon be travelling without a passport – this is how

Commission: Raising the social issues that can make or break the monetary union

COVID-19: Commission presents guidelines for border measures to protect health and keep goods and essential services available

Visa liberalisation: Commission reports on fulfilment of visa-free requirements by Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

EU-US: A new transatlantic agenda for global change

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

6 ways least developed countries can participate in the 4IR

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

A Sting Exclusive: Towards better business opportunities for the EU and its neighbours, Commissioner Hahn live from European Business Summit 2015

The Great Reset needs great leaders to help the most vulnerable

Review on ethics and technological development

Spread of polio still an international public health concern

Iraq: Solutions needed ‘urgently’ to quell ongoing violence, break political deadlock

Here are five ways we can make mental healthcare better

This is how good governance can make sure technology works for everyone

EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

What washing your hands can teach you about global change

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

Radio still a powerful worldwide tool for ‘dialogue, tolerance and peace’: Guterres

Why helping cross-border commuters is key to fighting COVID-19

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

Bosses perform better when they are appreciated by their staff, according to a new study

ECB guarantees the liquidity of the Atlantic financial volume

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

Young people worldwide can ‘determine the future of migration,’ says UN senior official

Nigeria floods: Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ by loss of life and rising need

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

This is how many women have been nominated for best director in the Oscars’ entire history

Burundi: Inclusive dialogue ‘only viable option’ for resolving country’s political crisis says, UN envoy

What we know about the Wuhan coronavirus and urgent plans to develop a vaccine

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

How cities, not states, can solve the world’s biggest problems

US and China in painstaking efforts to conclude trade talks

This Dutch floating village could help tackle city-density and sea-level challenges

Brexit: MEPs concerned about citizens’ rights

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change

Computer skills are crucial for children – in lockdown and in life

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s