Myanmar forces may be guilty of genocide against Rohingya, UN says

07 Décembre, 2017, 04:03 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Sabber in conversation with a human rights activist in Kolkata

Burma's security forces may be guilty of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, the United Nations' top human rights official said on Tuesday, adding that more were fleeing despite an agreement between Burma and Bangladesh to send them home.

The Human Rights Chief conveyed on Tuesday (Dec 5) that the Burmese army "deliberately and massively targeted civilians", that resulted in over 626,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh and listed out the heinous and barbaric crimes that the Rohingya's have endured. "Given all of this, can anyone, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?" asked Zeid.

The Myanmar military denies wrongdoing and says it's targeting terrorists responsible for killing security forces.

Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh's junior foreign affairs minister, told the session in Geneva that his country was hosting almost one million "Myanmar nationals" following summary executions and rapes "as a weapon of persecution".

Addressing a special session of the Human Rights Council on December 5, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein described "widespread, systematic and shockingly brutal attacks against the Rohingya community" that "deliberately and massively targeted civilians", and enumerated actions "warranting the attention of the International Criminal Court" that have been perpetrated against the Rohingya by Myanmar's security forces and local militia.

"But the concerns are extremely serious, and clearly call for access to be immediately granted for further verification".

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The U.N. defines genocide as an worldwide crime committed "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group".

According to the New York Times, al-Hussein had previously deemed that the Burmese military campaign as textbook ethnic cleansing, and reminded that genocide is the most serious of atrocities - even if ethnic cleansing is not a designated offence under worldwide law.

The Rohingya are a stateless minority who have long experienced persecution in Myanmar. On the other hand, Myanmar government has refused to recognise Rohingya as one of the country's ethnic minorities and described them as Bengalis or illegal immigrants from neighbouring country- Bangladesh.

Mainly Buddhist Burma denies the Muslim Rohingya are its citizens and considers them foreigners. After the latest wave of arrivals it now hosts more than a million Rohingya.

A statement from the Bangladesh foreign ministry said displaced people could begin to return within two months.

More than 626,000 Rohingya have been displaced from Myanmar's Rakhine State into Bangladesh since late August, according to United Nations estimates, the majority of them women and children.

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