UN Security Council demands accountability for the violence against Rohingyas in Myanmar

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a statement on Wednesday demanded that Myanmar fulfill its commitment to undertake transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations against the Muslim Rohingyas and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

The statement comes following the visit of members of the UNSC to Bangladesh and Myanmar from 28 April to 1 May as part of its efforts to address the Rohingya crisis.

“The members of the Security Council, in light of the importance of undertaking transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations, urge the Government of Myanmar to fulfil, based on respect for the rule of law, its stated commitment to holding accountable perpetrators of violence, including sexual violence and abuse and violence against children”, the UNSC said in the statement issued by Council President Joanna Wronecka (Poland).

Notably in April this year, seven army personnel were sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor for killing 10 Rohingya Muslims whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave at Inn Din village in southern Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State in September 2017.

However, the Army Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing denied sexual assault by the soldiers calling them a discipline force.

The coordinated attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on security posts in Rakhine on 25 August 2017 resulted in brutal military crackdown that expelled nearly 700,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had on 11 September 2017 called the violence in Rakhine “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

The members of the Security Council visited the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, where they met Rohingya refugees. The statement said they “were struck by the scale of the humanitarian crisis and remain gravely concerned by the current situation.” They also noted the “widespread destruction of villages” in northern Rakhine state.

Shyamal Bikash Chakma

Shyamal Bikash Chakma is Public Editor of The aPolitical and a PhD candidate in Development Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and recipient of the Felix Scholarship 2017.
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