Myanmar Military Atrocities Against Rohingya May Be Genocide

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2017

The persecution of Rohingya by Myanmar's security forces may amount to genocide, the United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has said.

The House passed a resolution on Tuesday, urging immediate restoration of humanitarian access to the Rakhine state where unrest has forced over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.

The United Nations defines genocide as acts meant to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part.

Myanmar's ambassador on the council denied the claims and said that his government was working with Bangladesh to help relocate those who had lost their homes.

Zeid al-Hussein had previously described the campaign by Myanmar's military as "textbook" ethnic cleansing.

More than 100 days have passed since an upsurge in violence in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state forced almost 626,000 Rohingya to flee for safety to Bangladesh.

According to Reuters, 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".

Officials at the United Nations have said they can not rule out the possibility of genocide being conducted against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by government soldiers.

While conditions for the Rohingya are terrible, IOM spokesman Joel Millman says this huge refugee influx into Cox's Bazar is having a severe impact on the impoverished host communities in the region. Its envoy Htin, referring to the accounts, said: "People will say what they wanted to believe and sometimes they will say what they were told to say".

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