The UN General Assembly approved a resolution Friday strongly condemning human rights abuses against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and other minorities, including arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and deaths in detention.
The 193-member world body voted 134-9 with 28 abstentions in favour of the resolution which also calls on Myanmar’s government to take urgent measures to combat incitement of hatred against the Rohingya and other minorities in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states.
General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion.
Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be “Bengalis” from Bangladesh even though their families have lived in the country for generations. Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless, and they are also denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.
The long-simmering Rohingya crisis exploded on 25 August 2017, when Myanmar’s military launched what it called a clearance campaign in Rakhine in response to an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. The campaign led to the mass Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh and to accusations that security forces committed mass rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes.
Myanmar’s UN ambassador, Hau Do Suan called the resolution “another classic example of double-standards (and) selective and discriminatory application of human rights norms” designed “to exert unwanted political pressure on Myanmar.”
He said the resolution did not attempt to find a solution to the complex situation in Rakhine state and refused to recognize government efforts to address the challenges.