Security Council decries killings by Myanmar's military
07 Nov 2017 - 14:31
WASHINGTON: The UN Security Council has passed a statement condemning the violence that has led to more than 607,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar.
China blocked a similarly worded resolution backed by the U.S., U.K. and France late Monday. A resolution would have carried greater legal weight but was vetoed by China, one of the Security Council’s five permanent members.
The statement called on the Myanmar government to “ensure no further excessive use of military force in Rakhine state” and respect human rights.
It also voiced “grave concern” over human rights violations against Rohingya by security forces, including “the systematic use of force and intimidation, killing of men, women and children, sexual violence and… the destruction and burning of homes and property.”
Since Aug. 25, some 607,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh.
The refugees have been fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
Speaking in September, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali said around 3,000 Rohingya had been killed in the crackdown.
The statement also urged full access for humanitarian organizations to northern Rakhine and the return of Rohingya to their homes.
France’s Permanent Representative Francois Delattre told reporters the statement sent a “strong and unanimous message to end the ethnic cleansing that is taking place before our eyes in Myanmar”.
Jonathan Allen, British permanent representative, said the Security Council had given “a clear and strong message” to Myanmar.
He added that the council had demanded that the Myanmar government implement the recommendations of a UN advisory commission.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
Over the last year, the UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.In a report, investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.