Possible elements of genocide in Myanmar

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The U.N.'s top human rights body has overwhelmingly passed a measure saying that crimes against humanity have "very likely" been committed against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on November 23 to start the return of Rohingya within two months. In a report, United Nations investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity. This called for reconciliation, which could come about only when discrimination against the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar ended.

While not mentioning the Rohingya directly, Ambassador Htin Lynn says any "dehumanization" of people in Myanmar "could be an act of extremist individuals".

ZeidRa'ad al-Hussein was addressing a Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

We will remind, recently in Bangladesh, wild elephants attacked the refugee camp of Muslim Rohingya, killing four people.

A dysfunctional tubewell in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Credit Sohara Mehroze Shachi  IPS
A dysfunctional tubewell in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Credit Sohara Mehroze Shachi IPS

The leader of a United Nations -mandated fact-finding mission for Myanmar say it's examining "in depth" allegations that genocide or crimes against humanity have been committed against the Rohingya.

Marzuki Darusman, head of an independent global fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said by video from Malaysia: "We will go where the evidence leads us".

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence since August.

He spoke at a special council session on the Rohingya on Tuesday. They include indiscriminate shooting and stabbing of villagers, rape, beatings and the burning of houses with families inside. "Can anyone - can anyone - rule out that elements of genocide may be present?" he asked the 47-member state forum. "Deep divisions between communities remain unaddressed and human access is inadequate", she said. "We should also encourage other governments to stay engaged and continue to address the pressing needs of these refugees' needs that will only grow as long as this situation remains unresolved", he said. "Conditions in Myanmar's Rakhaine state are not in place to enable a safe and sustainable return. refugees are still fleeing".

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