etvfutures.com
etvfutures.com December 17, 2017


Myanmar may be guilty of Rohingya genocide

07 December 2017, 07:09 | Opal Carroll

Pope Francis at the interfaith and ecumenical meeting for peace in Dhaka Bangladesh Dec. 1 2017.- AP

Pope Francis at the interfaith and ecumenical meeting for peace in Dhaka Bangladesh Dec. 1 2017.- AP

The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights says the mounting evidence of military-perpetrated atrocities against Rohingya Muslims could constitute worldwide criminal law's most serious charge.

But Zeid told the council: "Considering Rohingyas' self-identify as a distinct ethnic group with their own language and culture - and [that they] are also deemed by the perpetrators themselves as belonging to a different ethnic, national, racial or religious group - given all of this, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?" In a report, United Nations investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

A Foreign Ministry official said that in earlier visits this year, Turkish first lady Emine Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu had toured the makeshift Rohingya camps.

Noting the progress made bilaterally between Bangladesh and Myanmar for repatriation of Rohingya refugees, Farukh Amil observed that this ongoing violence had forced hundreds of thousands of innocent Rohingya women, men and children to flee into neighbouring states for refuge.

However, while ethnic cleansing is not a designated offence under worldwide law, genocide is the most serious of atrocity crimes.

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Zeid urged the 47-member council to recommend to the UN General Assembly to authorise a new mechanism to probe individual criminal responsibility.

Myanmar continues to bar United Nations investigators from the country, and Zeid al-Hussein acknowledged that prosecutions for such crimes were "rare". This called for reconciliation, which could come about only when discrimination against the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar ended.

However, it says it is working to implement a deal to allow the return of the 620,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh over the past three months.

According to Reuters, Myanmar denies committing atrocities against the Rohingya.



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