• Saturday, Nov 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:23 am

ED: Treating them as citizens

  • Published at 07:06 pm September 12th, 2020
rohingya refugee camp
Photo: REUTERS

Allowing the Rohingya to be part of Myanmar’s general elections should go a long way to establish them as citizens of Myanmar

I t is encouraging to see that eight UN Security Council members have called for the Rohingya population in Myanmar to be included as part of the upcoming elections in the country on November 8. 

By now, there is no remaining avenue to deny the atrocities the Myanmar regime has inflicted upon the Rohingya, on its own citizens. The army’s actions are the reason why over a million Rohingya refugees currently reside in camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. 

However, what has been a major failure from the international community is the lack of pressure on Myanmar to hold the regime accountable for its actions. Myanmar has never truly apologized for its actions against the Rohingya, nor has it made any real efforts in correcting their mistakes. 

This call to include the Rohingya in the upcoming elections is a step in the right direction. It is the approach other members of the international community should be taking. There continue to be clashes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, and there appears to be little interest displayed by the Myanmar government to safely repatriate the Rohingya currently residing in Bangladesh. 

This must change, and the international community must step up and do its part to make the process possible. For now, however, allowing the Rohingya to feel inclusive and be part of Myanmar’s general elections should go a long way to establish them, first and foremost, as citizens of Myanmar and as such, afforded the full rights, dignity, and respect that all citizens of a country are entitled to.

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