The Burmese junta on Wednesday rejected a UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for reconciliation with the persecuted Rohingya minority, criticizing “one-sided allegations” about its treatment of the stateless community.
The country has been in turmoil since Aung San Suu Kyi’s government was overthrown in a coup in February, sparking huge pro-democracy protests and bloody military repression.
On Monday, the Council adopted a resolution calling for “constructive and peaceful dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar, including the Rohingya Muslims.”
The resolution was “based on false information and unilateral allegations,” the junta’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The term ‘Rohingya’ which is coined with (a) broader political agenda is also unrecognized and rejected by the government,” he said.
The community had “never been recognized as the ethnic nationality of Myanmar,” he added.
In Myanmar, the Rohingya have long been seen as intruders of Bangladesh and have been denied citizenship, rights and access to services.
More than 700,000 Rohingya are currently languishing in camps in Bangladesh after a deadly 2017 military attack on their communities in western Rakhine State which now sees the country facing charges of genocide.
Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing – who headed the armed forces during the crackdown – dismissed the word Rohingya as “an imaginary term”.
The UN resolution also expressed “unequivocal support for the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations” and called for an immediate end to the fighting and hostilities.
China, one of the council’s 47 members, said it could not join the consensus but nevertheless did not insist on the text being put to a vote.
More than 900 people have been killed by the military since the coup, according to a local watch group.
© 2021 AFP