FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugees gather to mark the second anniversary of the exodus at the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman/File Photo
EIGHT Security Council members of the UN called for the Muslim Rohingya minority, victims in 2017 of what the UN calls a “genocide,” to participate in Myanmar’s upcoming elections.
The statement, published after a closed-door video conference, is signed by Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Tunisia, Britain and the US.
“We recognise the efforts made by Myanmar’s government in the country’s democratization,” the signatories emphasize.
“The elections on November 8 are an important milestone in Myanmar’s transition, which the international community has supported with funding and technical expertise,” they added.
The signatories underlines underlined their commitment to ensuring individuals from all communities, including Rohingya, were able to participate “safely, fully, and equally in credible and inclusive elections.”
They expressed concern about continuing clashes in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin States, calling for an “immediate cessation of hostilities.”
Since 2017, some 740,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s military abuses and taken refuge in neighboring Bangladesh, where they are crammed into huge camps.
The crisis has led Burma to be accused of “genocide” before the International Court of Justice, the UN’s highest judicial body.
The statement from the eight countries urges Myanmar “to accelerate its efforts to address the long-term causes of the crisis in Rakhine and create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, sustainable, and dignified return of refugees.”
And it stresses the importance of holding accountable those responsible for the violence.