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UN: Rohingya live under threat of “genocide” in Burma

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Some 600,000 Rohingya still in Burma are under threat of “genocide”, UN investigators warned Monday, demanding that its top military be referred to the International Criminal Court.

The United Nations fact-finding mission on Burma said in a report that it had “compelling reasons to conclude that the evidence to convince the state that genocide intentions have been strengthened” since last year and that “there is a serious threat of new genocide”.

The mission said it was “the responsibility of the state” to mean that Burma’s case must be referred to the International Criminal Court for failing to honor its obligations under the 1984 Genocide Convention, one of the rare international human rights instruments it has ratified.

“This country continues to commit crimes against humanity in inhumane acts causing great suffering and persecution as part of a generalized and systematic attack against the Rohingya population,” said international investigators who were not allowed to travel to Burma.

740,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine State (West Burma) in August 2017 after a military crackdown in Burma, where the majority of the population is Buddhist.

Entire families have joined under very difficult conditions for some 200,000 persecuted refugees living in camps across the border in Bangladesh.

According to UN investigators, “600,000 people from the Rohingya minority in Burma are systematically persecuted, living under threat of extermination” and “their living conditions are very poor” and worsened within a year. “This makes it impossible for the Rohingya refugees to return,” they said.

“The threat of extermination continues to beset the Rohingya who have remained,” the head of the fact-finding mission, Marzuki Darusman, said in a statement. He added that a year ago the mission had announced the discovery of “acts of genocide” in “clearing operations” committed in 2017 that had killed “thousands of Rohingya.”

“If the United Nations and the international community do not take effective measures this time, this painful tragedy will be repeated. The scandal of international silence must end,” said UN investigator Christopher Sedotti.

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