12 Nobel laureates urges UNSC to end Rohingya crisis
Twelve Nobel laureates including Muhammad Yunus and fifteen eminent global citizens on Wednesday wrote an open letter to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) urging it to intervene to end the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, according to a press release of Yunus Centre.
The Nobel peace laureates are Máiread Maguire (1976), Betty Williams (1976), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984), Oscar Arias (1987), Sir Richard J. Roberts (1993), Jody Williams (1997), Shirin Ebadi (2003), Muhammad Yunus (2006), Elizabeth Blackburn (2009), Tawakkol Karman (2011), Leymah Gbowee (2011) and Malala Yousafzai (2014).
The noted people said: “According to different organizations, recent military offensive by the Myanmar Army in Rakhine State has led to the killing of hundreds of Rohingya people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Complete villages have been burned, women raped, many civilians arbitrarily arrested, and children killed. Crucially, humanitarian aid organisations have been almost completely denied access, creating an appalling humanitarian crisis in an area already extremely poor.”
They mentioned: “According to UN sources, around 300,000 people have fled to Bangladesh during the last two weeks. Human misery created by such massive displacement of men, women and children under the threat of death is getting worse every day.”
“The arguments that the Myanmar government is using to deny Rohingyas their citizenship are ludicrous, to say the least. At independence of Burma from the British in 1948 and under successive governments, Burma recognized the people of all ethnicities within its border, including the Rohingyas, as full citizens, having representation in the parliament.”, said the open letter.
The military juntas in the 1980s decided that Rohingyas are not Burmese. Accordingly, they stripped the Rohingyas of their citizenship. They used military and political means to make sure that the Rohingyas leave the country. Systematic persecution aiming at ethnic and religious cleansing began, they added.
They also urged UNSC to persuade Myanmar government to take immediate steps to implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission which the Myanmar government established in 2016 under the pressure of international community.
To implement the Commission recommendations we suggest the following preparatory steps:
1. Reappoint the Commission members immediately to constitute an Implementation Committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations,
2. Take immediate steps to stop the outflow of refugees,
3. Invite international observers to visit vulnerable areas on a regular basis,
4. Invite back the refugees, who already left the country,
5. Build camps within Myanmar for the returning refugees to facilitate their rehabilitation with UN financing and supervision,
6. Give them the citizenship as prescribed in the Commission Report under the exclusive authority of the Implementation Committee and
7. Ensure political freedom and freedom of movement.