Turkish resolution on Rohingya gets UN approval

Turkish resolution on Rohingya gets UN approval

UNITED NATIONS - Anadolu Agency
Turkish resolution on Rohingya gets UN approval

A UN commission on Friday overwhelmingly approved a Turkish-backed resolution strongly condemning the continuing human rights violations and abuses against Rohingya.

Turkey sponsored the resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the European Union.

The General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee approved the resolution by a vote of 142-10, with 26 states abstaining. 10 counties voted against the resolution: Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

The resolution expresses deep concern that violence by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya has forced over 750,000 people to flee to Bangladesh since August 2017.

Turkish Ambassador to UN Feridun Sinirlioglu, speaking on behalf of the OIC, called the commission’s findings “devastating.”

“The serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, perpetrated against the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities, continue to be a cause of deep concern for the international community. People in Myanmar have been trapped for decades in a vicious cycle of violence and forced displacement,” Sinirlioglu said.

“The events that took place after Aug. 25, 2017 are only the latest episode of this cycle. Without a comprehensive strategy, reaching an enduring solution to this crisis is impossible. The findings of the independent international fact-finding mission are devastating,” he said.

Sinirlioglu continued: “To end this vicious cycle, the government of Myanmar first of all must create the necessary conditions for peaceful coexistence in Rakhine state and the safe return of refugees. This requires ending all types of violence and giving humanitarian agencies immediate, unhindered access to populations in need. Implementing international humanitarian and human rights law in Rakhine state is crucial. Bringing the alleged perpetrators of violence to justice will also be of critical importance to put an end to the repetition of this cycle.”

He added: “The OIC believes that the international community must do its utmost to find a lasting solution to the current crisis. With this understanding, the resolution we submitted on behalf of the OIC and the EU strongly condemns all violations and abuses of human rights in Myanmar.”

Sinirlioglu also said that Turkey and OIC would still like to believe in the sincerity of Myanmar’s government on this issue.
“Repatriation should not be from the camps in Bangladesh to the camps in Myanmar. Rohingya should return to their places of origin, and their basic rights should be guaranteed. Relevant UN agencies should be given access to verify. Moreover, without holding the perpetrators accountable for their crimes, ensuring the voluntary return of Rohingya to Myanmar will not be possible,” he said.

Violence and oppression

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.