Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingya continues

ROHINGYA-CAMP-TENSIONS-MYANMAR-REUTERS UN: Myanmar continuing 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya
Jay Anderson | 09 March, 2018, 09:47

"It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists", Gilmour added in a statement.

Myanmar's military on Wednesday denied "one-sided accusations" made by British lawmakers in a letter to the EU Foreign Affairs Council recently detailing major human rights abuses against minority Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

"The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues", said Andrew Gilmour, the United Nations assistant secretary-general for human rights.

"Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions", said Gilmour".

They recounted incidents where family members were taken away by Myanmar's security forces and later found dead.

Myanmar's military claims its crackdown on Rohingya villages is aimed at eradicating "terrorists", who allegedly attacked border police posts in August 2017.

In Bangladesh meanwhile, a cabinet accused Myanmar of obstructing efforts to repatriate the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees there.

The two applicants earlier filed a petition demanding that Rohingya refugees who had entered India following the crackdown in Rakhine should not be deported.




Gilmour said the rate of killings and sexual violence in Rakhine has subsided since August and September previous year, but "It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists".

The UN has formerly floated the idea that the atrocities constitute ethnic cleansing.

Earlier this year in February, the Centre had responded to a plea which alleged that Rohingya refugees who wanted to enter India after fleeing persecution in Myanmar were being "pushed back" at the border by the BSF in violation of the United Nations principle of non-refoulement.

Myanmar's government has built two reception camps and a transition camp for Rohingya refugees in northern Rakhine.

The area now occupied by the Kutupalong refugee settlement in Cox's Bazar has always been an important habitat for East Asian Elephants, the agency said.

"UNHCR underscores that everyone has the right to seek asylum, just as they also have the right to return home when they deem the time and circumstances right", it said in a statement released late on Monday.

"People who have fled violence in their country must be granted safety and protection and any decision to return must be voluntary and based upon a free and informed choice".

Gabrielle Aron, an independent analyst in Myanmar, said a guilty verdict would be widely interpreted as a move to "politically oppress the Rakhine people". "They are now even more reluctant to go back to their homeland".

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