The international community should conduct a fresh international investigation into Myanmar’s abuses against its Rohingya Muslim minority, the U.N. rights chief said on Tuesday warning of possible “elements of genocide.”
Speaking before a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the abuses against the Rohingya, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned “widespread, systematic and shockingly brutal” attacks against the Rohingya, as well as decades of discrimination and persecution.
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.
Myanmar’s Rohingya were born and raised there for multiple generations, and know no other place to call home. https://t.co/SEgs62XpX9 #IBelong pic.twitter.com/Ern91jrP4y
— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) December 5, 2017
Myanmar’s military denies accusations by the U.N. and the U.S. that it has committed ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.
But Mr. Zeid decried policies that had dehumanised and segregated the minority, and left it wallowing in statelessness for decades.
He described horrific violence and abuse, including allegations of “killing by random firing of bullets, use of grenades, shooting at close range, stabbings, beatings to death and the burning of houses with families inside”.
“Given all of this, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?” Mr. Zeid asked the 47-member council.