Razak, a 17 years old Rohingya teenager from Aung Mingalar ghetto of Sittwe who was grade 5 student in 12012 when Thein Sein government staged a genocidal violence against Rohingya in Arakan, said “R2P is our last hope” on January 30, 2019.
“My father had a grocery shop in Myoma market of Sittwe. We were happy. Thein Sein government staged the violence in the name of communal conflict in 2012. Since that time, my father could not go to the market and my mother feels trauma. I could not continue my studies though I had a dream to be a doctor to serve our community.
We have been living here under ghetto-like restrictions; no livelihood, no education, no healthcare, and no humanitarian aid. Until last November 2018, we could buy food and other necessary things from Rakhine. But a newly transferred security commander of Police Battalion-36 has blocked everything and wants to kill all of us lack of food and starvation.” said Razak.
Rohingya have been under persecution since 1965. The oppressive State policies of Myanmar are well documented by UN agencies and NGOs. To save their lives, thousands of Rohingya left the country through dangerous risky sea journey by small boats that caused “boat people crisis and refugee crisis in the region. Since 1990, Rohingya have been facing genocidal operations of Myanmar regime.
Article 33 of the UN Charter calls on states to first seek a resolution to an international crisis by “negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.”
Article 42 of the UN Charter allows the Security Council to authorize blockades and military operations in the event of breach of peace, threats to peace, and acts of aggression. The Myanmar military leadership is culpable for the Rohingya atrocities, as well as the widespread human rights abuses affecting other communities in that country. They must be held accountable for their brutality and face justice under international law.
Between August 25 and September 24 of 2017 alone, approximately 20000 Rohingya civilians were killed in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung of Arakan by Myanmar military. Human Rights Watch reports that 215 villages have been burned. Civilians have been fleeing for their safety, and now there are currently upwards of 870,000 Rohingya refugees in neighboring Bangladesh.
UN officials have described the Myanmar military’s action as “genocide” and called for government officials to be prosecuted. The United Nations and many other rights groups and international bodies still deem Myanmar unsafe for repatriation.
“Min Aung Hlaing the military’s commander-in-chief of Myanmar and others should be held accountable for Rohingya genocide in Rakhine and for crimes against humanity and war crimes in other parts of Myanmar,” said UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee.
If the United States wants to promote democracy in Myanmar, it ought to start on atrocity prevention. Suu Kyi government must carry the primary responsibility for protecting Rohingya populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
The international community has a responsibility to encourage and assist Myanmar in fulfilling this responsibility, to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian assistance and other means to protect Rohingya populations from genocidal atrocities of Myanmar government.
As Suu Kyi government is manifestly failing to protect Rohingya community since August 2017, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect Rohingya, in accordance with the UN Charter. For the sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis, it is very necessary addressing the root causes of the crisis, including recognition of Rohingya citizenship in Myanmar and of the basic rights of the Rohingya people.
The out-dated law approved by no parliament,”1982 citizenship law” which must be replaced with a new standard law according to Annan’s recommendations is still being active. Before the election, Suu Kyi openly rejected the citizenship law saying it is against international standard but now, not only her government enforces it but also denies existence of Rohingya too.
Rohingyas are equal and full citizens and an ethnic minority integral to the Union of Burma”. Notorious Dictator, Ne Win started uses an official motto: “Mye-myo-ywe Lu-myo-ma-pyôk Lu-myo-hma Lu-myopyôk-mi” roughly means “A Landslide does not Submerge a Race, but Another Race Does” The motto is the sign State’s genocidal propaganda against Muslims and Christians. Suu Kyi government has zero intention to remove the motto from the wall of every immigration office in Myanmar.
Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. Ethnicity, however, refers to cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language. You can have more than one ethnicities but you are said to have one race, even if it’s “mixed race”.
According bigotry immigration law, a Muslim must have at least four-five races on his so-called ID card, (Scrutiny Cards). For example: The race of Ali Husein is India plus Chulia plus Bamar plus Bengali plus Pakistani. The discrimination is mostly based on religion; especially Christianity and Islam, they have became victims since independence. During the parliament democracy of U Nu period, he tried to make Burma into a Buddhist country.
Thousands of violent attacks have been initiated towards Christians and Muslims since independence that caused violence, hatred, poverty, and intolerance. Burma, once South East Asian’s tiger became one of the poorest countries in the World.
“Genocide doesn’t happen spontaneously,” said Matthew F. Smith, a former Human Rights Watch specialist on Myanmar and China who is chief executive officer of Fortify Rights. “Impunity for these crimes will pave the path for more violations and attacks in the future.
” Min Aung Hlaing, the commander in chief of Myanmar’s military, made the army’s intentions clear: “The Bengali problem was a long-standing one which has become an unfinished job despite the efforts of the previous governments to solve it. Recently, twenty Rohingya from Maungdaw were forcibly brought to Sittwe to make a film and show international Community that all atrocities since August 2017 against Rohingya were committed by ARSA, not Myanmar army.
Nearly one million Rohingya are in the refugee camps of Bangladesh and those who are in Arakan live in the ghetto like villages or in the concentration camps. Repatriation of Rohingya refugees without R2P seems providing more opportunities to Myanmar genociders for more atrocities against Rohingya.