UNHRC Urges an End to Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis
07/14/2021 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution that calls for a decisive end to the grave violations of human rights and violence perpetrated by the Burmese military on the minority Rohingya Muslim community. The resolution passed unanimously on the morning of July 12th and called for peace and relief for Rohingyas and other intensely persecuted minority groups. The Burmese military’s systematic targeting of civilians, use of torture, and horrific violence against children were listed as particularly concerning human rights violations in its ongoing conflict with the Rohingya community.
In February of 2021, Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, successfully executed a take over of the country’s civilian government, which had been on a years-long struggle to achieve democracy. In recent years, the country’s political climate has been defined by major civilian demonstrations advocating for the adoption of democracy and an end to the corruption that has plagued Myanmar. These pro-democracy movements were catalyzed by the leadership of former Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was the leader of Myanmar prior to the military coup. Despite little evidence, the Tatmadaw accused Aung San Suu Kyi of election manipulation to justify their February takeover and has since imprisoned her on the grounds of corruption.
The Tatmadaw’s oppression of religious minorities has been defined by denial of legal status, mass killings and rape, and forced relocation. Their crackdown on the Rohingya community has resulted in a mass exodus of Rohingyas into neighboring Bangladesh, where their presence has led to further conflict and a refugee crisis. The UNHRC’s resolution has praised Bangladesh for its efforts to provide aid to these vulnerable refugees while also acknowledging the need for more significant support from the international community in providing for displaced Rohingya Muslims.
The Burmese military’s crimes have not been limited to Rohingya Muslims. A recently published ICC report details the deeply saddening ways in which Christian communities in Myanmar have similarly suffered at the hands of the Tatmadaw. Christian communities across the country have been subjected to severe violence, imprisonment, and displacement. In its 2021 Annual Report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom mentioned the persecution of Christians as support for its designation of Myanmar as a country of particular concern.
The severity of the human rights violations perpetrated by the Tatmadaw demands a decisive response from the international community. Upon his election, President Biden immediately placed economic sanctions on the Burmese military. ICC supports meaningful sanctions against the Tatmadaw as a valuable tool for combating their human rights abuses. Further, the United States should recognize the remnants of Myanmar’s deposed civilian government, pressure the Tatmadaw’s allies, and encourage cooperation among the international community in decisively acting to end the tragedy currently taking place in Myanmar.
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