Alwaght- UN has criticized recent remarks by Myanmarese army chief against Rohingyas, hinting that regime officials of the predominantly Buddhist country are involved in the incitement of hatred against the minority Muslim community.
Farhan Haq, a deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, said on Monday that the international body’s head had been “shocked” at media reports of General U Min Aung Hlaing’s recent remark that the Rohingya were “Bengalis” that “do not have the characteristics or culture in common with the ethnicities of Myanmar.”
Via his deputy spokesman, Guterres urged Myanmar’s leaders to “take a unified stance against incitement to hatred and to promote communal harmony.”
Backed by regime, the Myanmarese military and Buddhist extremists launched a heavy-handed crackdown against the Muslim minority in Rakhine State in late 2016. That campaign intensified in August 2017.
Myanmarese troops have been committing killings, making arbitrary arrests, and carrying out arson attacks in Muslim villages in Rakhine.
About 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the western state to Bangladesh since last August.
Before the campaign of violence, which killed many and drove almost all of the other Muslims out, the Rohingya had lived in Myanmar for generations but were denied citizenship and branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, hence the word “Bengalis.”
The UN has described the Muslim community as the most persecuted minority in the world.
Guterres further said it was “critical that conditions are put in place to ensure that the Rohingya are able to return home voluntarily, in safety and in dignity.”
Myanmar has struck a deal with Bangladesh — where many Rohingya Muslims have fled to fearing for their lives — to have the Muslims returned. But the Rohingya refugees say there is no guarantee that they will be safe back in Rakhine and refuse to return.
The Myanmarese regime has already uprooted Rohingya villages in Rakhine and shuttled Buddhists to the area. It has also built military camps there.