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UN censures rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo, taken on July 4, 2021, shows members of the internally displaced Rohingya community gather by makeshift shelters at the Baw Du Pha IDP Camp in Sittwe, Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine. (By AFP)

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution denouncing violations by Myanmar’s military against the persecuted Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities. 

The resolution, brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), was approved at the Geneva-based 47-member council on Monday.

Khalil Hashmi, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, voiced concern over the rights violations against the Rohingya in Rakhine state.

"Unfortunately, the humanitarian and human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims remains dire, and therefore requires a collective call by the council asking Myanmar to immediately halt human rights violations, and to uphold their fundamental rights," he was quoted as saying.

The text of the resolution itself calls for a "constructive and peaceful dialogue and reconciliation, in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar, including Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities."

It voices "grave concern" at reports of serious abuses, including arbitrary arrests, deaths in detention, torture, forced labor and "the deliberate killing and maiming of children."

The resolution also demands an immediate cessation of fighting and hostilities, of the targeting of civilians, and supports "the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations" and "the democratic transition in Myanmar."

Turmoil has gripped Myanmar since de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) were ousted on February 1 through a military coup, with near-daily protests and a nationwide civil disobedience movement.

The junta seized power over alleged fraud in general elections won by Suu Kyi's party in November 2020. The allegations of fraud have been dismissed by the former electoral commission.

Since the coup, nearly 900 people have been killed. About 200,000 have also been forced to flee their homes, according to UN figures.

Thousands of people have fled clashes in the states of Kachin and Shan, which have established ethnic minority armies.

Last week, UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet told the council that the situation in Myanmar had "evolved from a political crisis to a multi-dimensional human rights catastrophe."

Myanmar was ruled by the military from 1962 until 2011 when Suu Kyi ended the junta rule.

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