Acts of genocide suspected against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Acts of genocide suspected against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council, Zeid noted that his office said on Tuesday that it believes ethnic cleansing is still underway in Rakhine state.

The United Nations human rights chief accused on Wednesday Myanmar authorities of deliberately attempting to "destroy evidence of potential global crimes, including possible crimes against humanity".

Myanmar does not recognize Rohingya as its citizens, arguing they are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, which has led to continued discrimination against the Rohingya community as well as restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have announced provisional plans for the Rohingya - a mostly Muslim ethnic group - to return home to Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.

The Myanmar military has denied claims of abuses, but in January recognised the extrajudicial killings of Rohingya in September 2017.

A Myanmar security personnel keeps watch along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border as Rohingya refugee stand outside their makeshifts shelters near Tombru, in the Bangladeshi district of Bandarban on March 1, 2018 Bangladesh on March 1 asked Myanmar to immediately "pull back" security forces and heavy weapons from the border after the troop build-up near a camp housing thousands of stranded Rohingya stirred tension on the troubled frontier.

"It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists", the United Nations statement stated.

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Abductions of Rohingya girls and women by Burmese security forces was a "recurring theme" said the OHCHR, corroborating accounts of sexual violence and killings provided to other United Nations agencies and non-profit organisations including Human Rights Watch. "The government of Myanmar is busy telling the world that it is ready to receive Rohingya returnees, while at the same time its forces are continuing to drive them into Bangladesh, ' Gilmour said".

There was no immediate comment by the Myanmar government.

After concluding a four-day visit to Cox's Bazar and visiting the camps in Bangladesh, Gilmour warned of the serious situation of the 700,000 Rohingya refugees. "The first reason is that Burma will only take a few and secondly is that the refugees will never return if they fear persecution", he added, using another name for Myanmar.

Bangladesh and Burma made an agreement last November to repatriate the refugees, a process supposed to be completed within two years which was recently postponed.

"Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions", said Gilmour".

"They (Myanmar) are absolute evil", he added.