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600,000 Rohingya in Myanmar face ‘serious risk of genocide’: UN

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Myanmar : Rohingya remaining in Myanmar’s Rakhine state face a “serious risk of genocide”, UN investigators have said, warning that the repatriation of a million others already driven from the country by the army remains “impossible”.

In a damning report released on Monday, a United Nations fact-finding mission also called for top Myanmar generals, most notably army chief Min Aung Hlaing, to face trial for the killings, gang rape and arson during the Rohingya crackdown.

The mission, set up by the UN’s Human Rights Council in March 2017, doubled down on its findings published last year, in which it had labelled the 2017 crackdown as a “genocide”.

Some 600,000 Rohingya are living in “deplorable” conditions in Rakhine state, subject to restrictions on movement that touch almost every aspect of their lives, the report said.

The factors that “contributed to the killings, rapes and gang rapes, torture, forced displacement and other grave human rights violations” by the Myanmar military and other government authorities are still present, it said.

“Myanmar continues to harbour genocidal intent and the Rohingya remain under serious risk of genocide,” the investigators said in their report, due to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.

Myanmar had repeatedly denied the UN investigators’ 2018 findings and is yet to respond to the latest report.

About 740,00 Rohingya fled from Rakhine to Bangladesh following a crackdown by the government forces and other groups that began in August 2017. 

The fleeing Rohingya, who alleged rape, murder and torture, joined about 300,000 Rohingya living in southern Bangladesh, which now hosts the largest refugee camp in the world.

While the predominantly Muslim Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for decades, the government views them as “illegal immigrants”. A 1982 law denied citizenship to them, effectively rendering them stateless.

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