Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Myanmar Military Atrocities Against Rohingya May Be Genocide

Myanmar Military Atrocities Against Rohingya May Be Genocide

A top Myanmar diplomat has rejected allegations by the United Nations human rights chief that the country's government has taken action to "dehumanize" Rohingya Muslims.

But the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, challenged the council, insisting that the possibility of genocide was real.

While not mentioning the Rohingya directly, Ambassador Htin Lynn says any "dehumanization" of people in Myanmar "could be an act of extremist individuals".

It passed 33 to 3 - China, the Philippines and Burundi voted against it - with nine abstentions. Two delegations in the 47-member council were not present.

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.

The HRC also adopted a resolution which called on Myanmar to immediately cease hostilities against Rohingya Muslim population and ensure safe and voluntary return of all refugees from Bangladesh.

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Marzuki Darusman, who heads a council-mandated fact-finding mission on Myanmar that has received no access to the troubled state of Rakhine where many Rohingya once lived, chronicled a litany of allegations including the rape of young girls - some burnt to death or with their throats slit - and the mutilation of victims.

Marzuki Darusman, head of an independent global fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said by video from Malaysia: "We will go where the evidence leads us".

Myanmar's representative at the meeting continued to reject accusations of atrocities, saying refugees accounts are made up or forced. "Deep divisions between communities remain unaddressed and human access is inadequate", she said.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that none of the 626,000 Rohingya who have fled violence to Bangladesh since August should be repatriated to Myanmar unless there was robust monitoring on the ground.

He was speaking at a special council session Tuesday on the Rohingya's plight.

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