United Nations warns Myanmar situation 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'

by Garry Watts September 12, 2017, 0:19
United Nations warns Myanmar situation 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'

The Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday condemned the Myanmar government for the "systematic brutal acts" against the Rohingya Muslims minority and called upon the government to allow the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council's fact finding mission to probe into all alleged violations of global human rights law and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The United Nations said more than 290,000 people crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh over the last two weeks since an August 25 crackdown on the stateless ethnic minority after, the military says, Rohingya militants attacked police posts. Satellite photos from Human Rights Watch show entire villages razed to the ground. The report said $77 million in funding was needed to deliver urgent aid to the new arrivals.

On Sunday, Myanmar's government bluntly rejected a ceasefire proposed by militants in Rakhine after more than two weeks of bloodshed.

The statement called on the Myanmar government to do the same.

Over the weekend the Dalai Lama became the latest Nobel peace prize laureate to speak out about the crisis, telling the Burmese involved in attacks on the ethnic Muslim minority to "remember Buddha".

She said taking advantage of the relationship between the people of neighbouring countries, the Myanmar army and their border security force were brutally eliminating the religious and ethnic minorities.

"Figures are hard to verify because of lack of access to the affected areas", she said.

"This act would also be in contradiction with the principle of "Non-Refoulement", which has been widely recognised as a principle of Customary International Law", the plea said, while seeking a direction to the government not to deport them and other members of Rohingya community.

He also criticised "official statements that refugees who have fled the violence will only be allowed back if they can provide "proof of nationality", pointing out that Myanmar since 1962 had been stripping Rohingyas of a wide range of rights, including citizenship rights.

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OIC raps Myanmar over Rohingya Muslims' persecution

Shahidul Haque also said Minister Mahmood Ali told the diplomats that Myanmar should urgently end the killing of Rohingya and the repression on them to stop their entry into Bangladesh.

The principle of non-refoulement or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger is considered part of customary worldwide law and is binding on all states whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

In response, the military intensified "clearance operations" against "terrorists", driving thousands of people from their homes.

The UN warning came as it emerged the Dalai Lama had written to Aung San Suu Kyi urging Myanmar's de facto civilian leader to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in the mainly Buddhist country.

"This complete denial of reality is doing great damage to the global standing of a government which, until recently, benefited from vast good will", he said, calling on authorities to allow his office access to investigate the situation in the country.

Parliament last night called upon the global community to establish a safe zone for Rohingyas in Myanmar under United Nations supervision and implement the Kofi Annan commission's recommendations to end the crisis.

He warned that such an "ominous and organized plot by worldwide Zionism" would result in genocide against the Muslims, oppression and forced displacement, ethnic and racial cleansing, massacre and regional instability.

Myanmar says it is targeting armed insurgents, including fighters from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), the group which claimed responsibility for the August attacks and reportedly controls small ares of Rakhine.

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