Author: Maureen Foody
Posted on : WN.com| November 16th, 2017
A United Nations General Assembly committee called on Myanmar to end the military operations that have “led to the systematic violation and abuse of human rights” for the Rohingya Muslims in the country’s Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh on Thursday, according to Reuters.
The move was a revival of a UN resolution that was abandoned last year due to the country’s progress on human rights, but the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, voted 135 in favor, 10 against with 26 abstentions on the drafted text.
Those voting «no» included Myanmar’s close neighbor, China, as well as Russia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos.
The move also requested that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appoint a special envoy to Myanmar.
The resolution will now go to the 193-member General Assembly for a final vote in December, where it will also likely pass.
The Third Committee cited progress under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi last year as a reason for not putting forward a draft text for the 15th year in a row condemning Myanmar’s human rights records.
More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in the past three months since the Myanmar military started an operation targeting Rohingya militants, that attacked a number of security posts and an army base in the Rakhine state on Aug. 25.
The persecution of the Rohingya prompted the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to put forward a new draft UN resolution which would strengthen international pressure but has no legal consequences.
Myanmar’s army released a report earlier this week that denied any allegations of rapes and killings by security forces, just days after replacing the general in charge of the military operation in Rakhine.
UN officials have denounced the violence as ethnic cleansing, while the Myanmar government has continued to deny the allegations and is refusing entry to a UN panel that was tasked with investigating the abuses after a similar but smaller military counteroffensive started in Oct. 2016.
Saudi Arabia’s U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi spoke for the OIC and said that Myanmar was «another inhumane scene» of religious hatred as almost 620,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled over the border to Bangladesh.
he draft resolution passed on Thursday also calls on Myanmar to grant full and uninterrupted humanitarian aid access and for the country to grant full citizenship rights to Rohingya.
The Rohingya have been historically denied citizenship in Myanmar, where many ruling Buddhists view them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The 15-member UN Security Council called for Myanmar to “ensure no further excessive use of military force in Rakhine state» last week and called on Guterres to report back in 30 days about the situation.
Human Rights Watch also accused Myanmar security forces of committing widespread rape against women and girls on Thursday, referencing the allegations from the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, who said sexual violence is “being commanded, orchestrated and perpetrated by the Armed Forces of Myanmar.”