The United Nations Human Rights Council has called on Myanmar to immediately commence the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees stuck in squalid camps for internally displaced persons in Bangladesh.
The council adopted the resolution without a vote on July 7, expressing grave concern over continuing reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, in particular against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities.
Reiterating the importance of conducting an “international, independent, fair and transparent investigation into gross human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar,” the council urged Myanmar to cooperate fully with the UN and “to grant full, unrestricted and unmonitored access” to all UN mandate holders and human rights mechanisms.
It also requested that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights monitor and follow up on the implementation of the recommendations made by the independent international fact-finding mission, including those on accountability.
More than 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state due to a bloody military crackdown in August 2017 and they remain in camps in Bangladesh.
A UN fact-finding mission report found that Myanmar’s military committed four of the five acts constituting genocide against the Rohingya. It said military chief Min Aung Hlaing and five other senior generals must be prosecuted for genocide and war crimes against humanity.
“Initiatives must be scaled up and more support is needed to create conditions for voluntary returns"
Myanmar’s military had denied atrocities against the Rohingya in Rakhine and insisted its clearance operations were justified to root out Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army militants who attacked border posts in August 2017.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has called for the voluntary return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar once the situation allows.
“Initiatives must be scaled up and more support is needed to create conditions for voluntary returns in a just, safe and sustainable manner,” he said after visiting Rohingya camps in Bangladesh in May.
The UN rights body’s resolution came as the military junta continues its scorched-earth campaign in several regions across the country by using air strikes and artillery shelling while junta troops have allegedly committed massacres of civilians, made arbitrary arrests, burned villages and looted properties.
Despite the UN and world leaders repeatedly calling for an end to the violence, the junta has continued its reign of terror.
The conflict-stricken Southeast Asian nation is facing political, economic and social crises following the military coup on Feb.1, 2021 after toppling the elected civilian government.
Myanmar’s junta has faced mounting pressure from the international community over rights abuses and proceedings against military leaders are underway at the International Court of Justice./UCAnews