Noting that the Rohingya crisis is deteriorating very fast, Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus has urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) to intervene to end the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
“The human tragedy and crimes against humanity have taken a dangerous turn in the Arakan region of Myanmar. It needs your (UNSC) immediate intervention,” he said in an open letter sent to the UNSC president and its members, said a press release of Yunus Centre on Tuesday.
“I (Yunus) call on UNSC to intervene immediately by using all available means. I request you to take immediate action for cessation of indiscriminate military attack on innocent civilians that is forcing them to leave their home and flee country to turn into stateless people,” the letter reads.
According to different organisations, recent military offensive by the Myanmar Army in Rakhine has led to the killing of hundreds of Rohingya people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Complete villages have been burned, women raped, many civilians arbitrarily arrested, and children killed, said Dr Yunus.
According to local administration sources, around 120,000 people have fled to Bangladesh in the last 12 days, he said.
He noted that he along with several Nobel Laureates and eminent global citizens denounced the previous spate of violence late last year and wrote to the UNSC to intervene. “This time, I urge you to take decisive actions to stop the violence against innocent civilians and bring permanent peace in Rakhine.”
Dr Yunus said, “I urge you to persuade Myanmar government to take immediate steps to implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission which the Myanmar government established in 2016 under the pressure of international community.”
The Commission, mostly comprised of Myanmar citizens and chaired by Kofi Annan, recommended providing citizenship to the Rohingyas, allowing them freedom of movement, rights and equality before the law, ensuring communal representation, lack of which affects Muslims disproportionately, facilitating UN assistance in ensuring safety and security of returning people, he said.
A bold change in approach is needed by the United Nations and the international community if there is to be an end to the cycle of violence against the Rohingyas. The government of Myanmar needs to be told that international support and finance is conditional on a major change in policy towards the Rohingya, the Nobel Laureate added. “The world is waiting to see that the UNSC has played its role in bringing an end to a humanitarian crisis and building peace in the region,” he said.