Blue Helmets on the ‘Race – cue’: UN committee condemns rights violations against Rohingya Muslims

A key UN committee overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday strongly condemning the continuing “gross human rights violations and abuses” against Rohingya Muslims who are treated as outsiders in Myanmar.

The General Assembly’s human rights committee approved the resolution by a vote of 142-10, with 26 abstentions. It is virtually certain to be formally adopted by the 193-member world body in December.

Among those voting against the resolution were Myanmar neighbours China, Cambodia and Laos along with Russia. Bangladesh, which hosts 1.1 million Rohingya refugees, voted in favour.

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The resolution expresses deep concern that violence by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya has forced over 723,000 people to flee to Bangladesh since August 2017. It urgently calls on Myanmar’s government to end discrimination and provide a path to citizenship for the embattled minority.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be “Bengalis” from Bangladesh even though their families have lived in the country for generations. Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless, and they are also denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.

The latest crisis began with attacks by an underground Rohingya insurgent group on Myanmar security personnel in August 2017 in northern Rakhine State. Myanmar’s military responded with a brutal campaign and is accused of mass rape, killings and the burning of thousands of homes.

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