OIC Expresses Alarm at Findings of UN Report, Calls for Economic and Diplomatic Measures Against Myanmar
Following the release of the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of its rapid response mission to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 13-24 September 2017, the OIC expresses alarm at the findings which confirm that ethnic cleansing is taking place against the Rohingya minority community.
The UN report states that brutal attacks against Rohingya in northern Rakhine State have been well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving the population out of Myanmar but preventing them from returning to their homes. The report further verifies that human rights violations committed against the Rohingya population were carried out by Myanmar security forces, in concert with armed Rakhine Buddhists.The report cites testimony from witnesses that security forces burned homes and entire villages, were responsible for extrajudicial and summary executions, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and attacks on places of worship.
Furthermore, Myanmar security forces purposely destroyed the property of the Rohingyas, targeting their homes, crops, livestock and belongings, to render the possibility of the Rohingya returning to normal lives and livelihoods in the future in northern Rakhine almost impossible. Security forces also targeted teachers, religious leaders and other people of influence of the Rohingya community in an effort to eliminate Rohingya history, culture and knowledge. Efforts were taken to effectively erase signs of memorable landmarks in order to leave desolate and unrecognizable terrain.
Finally, this UN report shows a consistent pattern by Myanmar security forces to instill deep and widespread fear and trauma – physical, emotional and psychological –on the Rohingya population through acts of brutality, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence.
This confirms the concerns of the OIC that there is an organized campaign taking palace against the Rohingya minority community. The OIC is deeply disappointed that the Myanmar government maintains its policy of blaming the victim by continuing to assert that the Rohingya are burning down their own homes and are responsible for the violence against their own people while denying the role of security forces and militia in the attacks against civilians.
In light of this intransigent position and the damning UN report, the OIC calls upon the international community to immediately re-valuate diplomatic and economic ties to Myanmar, begin implementation of trade restrictions on products and services and prepare targeted sanctions against individual leaders of the government and security forces.
These actions may be taken in proportion to the responses by the government to resolve the situation.The suffering inflicted upon the Rohingya is one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in modern history. With more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees having fled to Bangladesh since August, the international community must show its resolve to bring and end to this human catastrophe.