EU seeks UN probe into crimes by Myanmar military against Rohingya Muslims

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SHAFAQNA – The European Union has called on the United Nations to urgently send an international fact-finding mission to Myanmar to investigate widespread crimes being committed by the government armed forces against persecuted Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

The draft resolution, submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday, demands that the 47-member forum investigate allegations of torture, rapes and executions by the military against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

The EU resolution strengthens language in an earlier draft circulating that stopped short of demanding an international probe into atrocities.

The council, currently holding a four-week session, is set to vote on the resolution from March 23-24.

The UN rights body would “dispatch urgently an independent international fact-finding mission” to Myanmar if the resolution is adopted.

The mission will investigate violations “with a view to ensure full accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims.”

The resolution also calls on Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to “fully cooperate with the fact-finding mission, including by making available the findings of the domestic investigations.”

Myanmar has long faced international condemnation for its treatment of the Rohingya. Suu Kyi, who has received the Nobel Peace Prize, has been incapable of containing the violence against the minority community.

Rights campaigners say that national efforts have not been credible, calling for an international inquiry.

A Rohingya refugee boy sleeps inside a refugee camp in Sitwe, in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar, on March 4, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

A panel led by former UN chief Kofi Annan said earlier on Thursday that Myanmar needed to immediately start allowing the Rohingya to return home and ultimately close rundown squalid camps for the displaced people.

The 15-member UN Security Council will be briefed on the Rohingya situation behind closed doors on Friday.

Rakhine has been under a military siege since October 2016 over a raid on a police post that was blamed on the Rohingya. A four-month crackdown on the minority group has seen some 75,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to Bangladesh.

Buddhist-dominated Myanmar has a history of discrimination against Muslims, considering the Rohingya illegal immigrants.

Rights groups and governments have challenged the claim, arguing that the Rohingya had historical roots in the country.

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