• Thursday, Aug 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:04 pm

Myanmar situation poses further risk for Rohingyas

  • Published at 04:16 pm March 28th, 2021
Myanmar_ justice for Rohingya
File photo: Arrested Rohingya people leave a Hlegu court, outside Yangon, Myanmar, February 21, 2020 Reuters

This population has long suffered horrific violence at the hands of the Myanmar military with impunity, say two top UN officials, condemning the military crackdown against anti-coup protesters

The ongoing situation in Myanmar has put at further risk the already vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar, including the Rohingyas still living in that country, two top United Nations officials said on Sunday.

This population has long suffered horrific violence at the hands of the Myanmar military with impunity, as documented by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar established by the Human Rights Council, according to a joint statement by UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact that the current situation may have on these populations and are closely monitoring developments," it said, condemning the brutal crackdown by Myanmar military against anti-coup protesters.

The rights of minority groups, including the Rohingya population must be fully respected,” it added.

Also Read - Myanmar security forces kill 114 protesters in 'horrifying' day of bloodshed

The two top UN officials noted the diversity of the protest movement, and encouraged the newfound sense of unity across ethnic and religious divides, as well as the growing recognition of past crimes against minorities, including Rohingya.

In the statement, Nderitu and Bachelet issued a clear warning of a heightened risk of atrocity crimes in Myanmar, following another day of widespread bloodshed by the Myanmar military.

They strongly condemned the Myanmar military’s widespread, lethal, increasingly systematic attacks against peaceful protesters, as well as other serious violations of human rights since it seized power on 1 February 2021.

They also called on the military to immediately stop killing the very people it has the duty to serve and protect.

“The shameful, cowardly, brutal actions of the military and police – who have been filmed shooting at protesters as they flee, and who have not even spared young children – must be halted immediately. The international community has a responsibility to protect the people of Myanmar from atrocity crimes,” said the statement, calling on the UN Security Council and the international community to take further steps.

“We must ensure accountability for past crimes and deter the most serious international crimes from being committed,” it said. “The failure to address the atrocity crimes the Tatmadaw has committed in the past, including against Rohingya and other minorities, has brought Myanmar to this terrible pass. There is no way forward without accountability and fundamental reform of the military.”

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