Three Nobel peace laureates on Monday observed that the atrocities on the Rohingyas in Myanmar were clearly genocide and they demanded that Myanmar should be taken to International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity.
After visiting Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar as part of their mission to assess the Rohingya crisis on the ground, they urged Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to wake up to the atrocities, especially on the women, who faced tortures by the Myanmar security forces before they fled to Bangladesh.
‘They will be taken to the ICC and those who are committing genocide will be held responsible. We have to remove impunity… the people and military think they can kill, slaughter little children… this is slaughtering of the innocent on massive, massive scale… where is the world going? We demand that the international community, the United Nations and every single body take this matter seriously,’ Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire said.
At least 90 per cent of the Rohingya population of conflict-torn northern Rakhine
State fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the wake of the government operations following Muslim militant attacks last year, Yangon-based The Irrawaddy reported based on Myanmar government and INGOs’ statistics.
Mairead Maguire said every single woman they met had been raped and lost her family. ‘One woman’s baby was taken off and butchered by the Myanmar soldiers. This is clearly, clearly, clearly genocide that is going on by the Burmese government and military against the Rohingya people.’
This was an orchestrated attempt to wipe out the Rohingya people from Myanmar, she said, reiterating, ‘This is what genocide is all about.’
She demanded that the international community raise voice to stop genocide in Rakhine and ensure return of Rohingya to their homes.
Yemeni Nobel laureate Tawakkol Karman warned Suu Kyi that she risked being hauled to the ICC if she did not intervene, according to Agence France-Presse.
Rohingya people were facing massacre, genocide and unfortunately the international community disappeared, she said.
‘It’s shame for all of us and it is a shame for the international community that they are still silent,’ she said.
‘If she (Suu Kyi) continues her silence, she will be one of them,’ warned Karman, fighting back tears, after meeting Rohingya refugees.
‘It’s an appeal to our sister Aung San Suu Kyi to wake up, otherwise she will be betrayed (as) one of the perpetrators of this crime,’ she said.
Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi said the government of Myanmar must be punished and as members of international community ‘we have to do our utmost to make sure this is taken to international court. And we are paving the way for that.’
The Irrawaddy analysed recent updated regional statistics reports from the General Administrative Department for the three townships. The reports are dated October 2017. The GAD is under the military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs.
A comparison of the GAD’s population figures with OCHA’s camp registration numbers shows that around 90 per cent of the Rohingya population fled to Bangladesh and merely 10 per cent (79,038) remained in the three townships in western Myanmar. The data do not include the people who died, went missing or were arrested.
Along with the GAD reports, The Irrawaddy’s tally also takes into account figures of Rohingyas in Bangladesh camps as collected by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
OCHA said that 688,000 new arrivals were registered between August 25, 2017, and January 27 this year.
The GAD reports on Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung put the total Rohingya population before the latest crisis at 767,038.
A senior official from Maungdaw District’s General Administration Department told The Irrawaddy that the statistics were collected in 2016.
Six out of 10 of 6,88,000 Rohingyas who entered Bangladesh since the beginning of the new influx on August 25 were children, according to the estimation of the United Nations.
Officials estimated that the new influx already took to 11.07 lakh the number of Myanmar people living in Bangladesh.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country