Genocide against Rohingya can not be ruled out, says United Nations rights chief

Genocide against Rohingya can not be ruled out, says United Nations rights chief

Addressing a UN Human Rights Council session, Youssef urged the world countries to provide protection for the Rohingya people and help them return to their homes in Myanmar.

The Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, were settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

"Given all of this, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?"

Zeid slammed "widespread, systematic and shockingly brutal" attacks against the Rohingya, as well as policies that had dehumanised and segregated the minority, and left it wallowing in statelessness for decades.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on November 23 for Rohingya living in camps to voluntarily return to northern Rakhine - a process that Myanmar has said will get under way within two months.

An army-led crackdown has forced some 626,000 people to flee from northern Rakhine state and across the border into squalid camps in Bangladesh in recent months, leaving hundreds of villages burned to the ground.

Bangladesh, which along with Saudi Arabia had requested the special session, meanwhile voiced disappointment that Tuesday's resolution was not adopted by consensus, given the severity of the crisis.

Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh's junior foreign affairs minister, told the session in Geneva that his country was hosting almost one million "Myanmar nationals" following executions and rapes. "There will be no camps", he said.

During the session, the U.S.called on Myanmar to grant access to the fact-finding mission and unhindered humanitarian access to the region, adding that nothing could justify the campaign against the Rohingya in Rakhine, which it said was premeditated.

Myanmar's military vehemently denies accusations by the United Nations and USA that it has committed ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

Mainly Buddhist Myanmar denies the Muslim Rohingya are its citizens and considers them foreigners.

Myanmar disassociated itself from the call for the urgent dispatch of a fact-finding mission, and the government refused to grant entry visas to commission members. Genocide is a crime under worldwide law.

The government of Myanmar rejects all allegations of ethnic cleansing and human rights violations.

The UN chief also urged the council to take an appropriate action against the atrocities being carried out against the Rohingyas. But rights groups say the conditions are not in place to ensure safe, voluntary and dignified returns. "The worldwide community has made clear that it does not accept the denial of both the military and civilian leadership, whose attempts to whitewash these crimes undermine any chance of durable rights or reconciliation".

"Those responsible for atrocities should be identified, sanctioned, and held to account", Matar said.

He is urgently calling on the Myanmar authorities to put an immediate and absolute halt to the violence targeting the Rohingya.

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