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20 September, 2018 01:02:00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 September, 2018 12:07:52 PM

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Justice for Rohingyas appears elusive ‘due to China, Russia’

UN fact-finding mission’s report
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
Justice for Rohingyas appears elusive ‘due to China, Russia’

Against the backdrop of the release of the United Nations fact-finding mission’s report detailing horrific atrocities orchestrated by the Myanmar military, the most of the world want actions to be taken against the perpetrators, but China and Russia appear to be unmoved, according to senior Bangladeshi diplomats.

China and Russia, two veto-wielding countries in the UN Security Council along with France, the United Kingdom and the United States, will not allow any actions, at least at this stage, against Myanmar through the most powerful organ of the global body, they said.

That means, they added that any prospect of justice for Rohingyas seems to be far away. “What can you possibly say or do if China and Russia are unwilling to join the rest of the world to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crimes to justice as mentioned in the fact-finding mission?” questioned a senior diplomat.

“We have tried, are still trying and will continue doing so to make these two nations understand the importance of accountability,” he said.

“Look, we don’t live in an ideal world.

In many cases, geopolitical and economic interests got better off humanity,” said another senior diplomat.

“In respect of the position of China and Russia, you have nothing to do but wait for their change of mind,” he said.

The diplomats, however, struck a note of optimism, saying that the compelling evidence contained in the report might create pressure on China and Russia to come in line with the rest of the world to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Ensuring accountability of the perpetrators will also help resolve the Rohingya crisis as a whole, they said.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council has held an interactive dialogue with the three members of the fact-finding mission after hearing an oral update by the mission’s chair Marzuki Darusman.

Darusman reminded that the attacks launched on August 2017 against the Rohingya people in Rakhine state had led to a mass exodus of three-quarters of a million people to Bangladesh and deaths of at least 10,000 people.

During the discussions, China and Russia backed Myanmar while most of others demanded actions against Myanmar.

Myanmar has rejected the report while Bangladesh said the report provided concrete evidence of atrocities.

“Six months ago the question was how the Mission would respond to the Myanmar authorities’ demand of concrete evidence.  The final report provided an unambiguous response; atrocities with genocidal intent had been perpetrated against the stateless Rohingyas since 2016,” said the Bangladesh’s envoy to the council.

“It would not contribute to the government’s efforts to bring about national reconciliation, peace, and inclusive and sustainable development in Rakhine state.  The report did not reflect the government’s efforts to end ethnic conflicts that had ravaged the country since its independence in 1948,” said the Myanmar’s representative.

During the discussion, representatives of different countries condemned the inhumane treatment of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and noted with great concern the findings of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states.

They called on Myanmar to repeal all discriminatory laws and practices against Rohingya Muslims and to allow the return of all Rohingya refugees.

The allegations of political mass killings, gang rapes and sexual violence, and the burning of Rohingya villages, along with the evidence supporting genocidal intent, warranted an investigation into the liability of senior Myanmar military officials for genocide.

Given that Myanmar was unwilling to ensure accountability, speakers called for an urgent referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), condemned the inhumane treatment of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and noted with great concern the findings of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states.

The organisation called on Myanmar to repeal all discriminatory laws and practices against Rohingya Muslims and to allow the return of all Rohingya refugees.

The European Union was appalled by the findings of the fact-finding mission, which pointed out to possible genocide in Rakhine state, stressing that the Council had to take on its responsibility to follow-up urgently on those extremely grave findings.

Non-governmental organisations -- Human Rights Watch, (in a joint statement with Amnesty International), Human Rights Law Centre, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia, Centre for Reproductive Rights, Article 19 - The International Centre against Censorship, International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights Now and Christian Solidarity Worldwide – also took part in the discussion.

China noted much progress in the economy and the domestic peace process in Myanmar in the past several years, adding that it would continue to support Myanmar in following its chosen path of development.  The problem in Rakhine state was a complicated historical and ethnic issue which could not be solved overnight, but only through dialogue and cooperation.

SR

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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