UN human rights chief cites 'elements of genocide' in Myanmar's Rohingya crisis

ANI | Updated: Dec 05, 2017 18:26 IST

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Dec 5 (ANI): The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned the brutal attacks at and decades-long discrimination against the Rohingyas, citing they could contain "elements of genocide."

More than 6,20,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar security forces launched an operation in the Rakhine state in response to the alleged attacks by militants on August 25 against 30 police posts and a regimental headquarters.

The UN chief pointed out an array of abuses against the Rohingyas, including allegations of dehumanising discrimination and segregation, and the horrific violence and abuse, along with the forced displacement and systematic destruction of villages, homes, property and livelihoods.

According to The Daily Star, Hussein asked the UN Human Rights Council, "Given all of this, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?"

"Ultimately, this is a legal determination only a competent court can make," he told the Council.

The UN chief also urged the council to take an appropriate action against the atrocities being carried out against the Rohingyas.

"How much do people have to endure before their suffering is acknowledged and their identity and rights are recognised, by their government and by the world?" he asked.

Hussein further urged the council to consider making a recommendation to the UN General Assembly that to set up as system to verify the latest allegations of violence and abuses against the Rohingyas.

"But the concerns are extremely serious, and clearly call for access to be immediately granted for further verification," he added.

According to the United Nation's Children Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Save the Children data, over 5,549 unaccompanied or separated Rohingya children have taken shelter in these camps in Bangladesh since August.

These children without their families or known ones are at a high risk of being trafficked and abused.

Earlier on November 23, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a deal on repatriation after both the countries came to a consensus following a meeting between Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. (ANI)