The Rohingya humanitarian crisis has been defined by the United Nations as a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’, and despite being the world’s large treaty and peacekeeping organisation, the United Nations, has been unable to curb conflict in Myanmar
Ahmed Khaled Abushehab – SNW News AUE
Dubai – 04/20/2018
The blame has nowhere to go but the Myanmar government, which has adapted a stance of persecution against the minority Muslim population, the Rohingya. The destruction has been systematic; entire villages and communities of the financially-backwards Rohingya have been burned and razed, with international coverage of the issue being disallowed.
When media attention is disallowed, there is also no accountability. According to a report from ACAPS, an independent crisis assessment center in Geneva, Myanmar is the world’s worst country for Aid access, where international aid is not allowed to reach the persecuted Rohingya population, further compounding the crisis.
In a year, more than 700,000 refugees have fled to the neighboring Bangladesh, a country that is repeatedly turning back these refugees to Myanmar. Unofficial camps have been established close to the Bangladeshi border, where the refugees are said to be fending for themselves. The scale of this mass-immigration is intense, one that Bangladesh cannot afford to support.
Because there is no logistics and resources present in these unofficial refugee camps, the risks to human life compounds. More than a million Rohingya refugees are without access to food, with several hundred thousand children exposed to diseases and malnutrition. Support from Bangladesh has been limited – some emergency refugee camps have been established, but with improper access to nutrition and healthcare.
Some international support has reached the Rohingya refugees, air-drop of rations and supplies have been funded by the United Kingdom (£59 million) and other countries that provide a limited relief for the people stuck in these camps.
Despite the clear evidence against the Myanmar government, the United Nations has maintained a silent stance on the issue. Apart from concerns, condemnations, and appeals, no strong action has yet to be taken. Partly, this stance is because there is no measure through which the United Nations can bring Myanmar to account. The country does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the backbone of resolving such disputes.
This leaves the U.N. Security Council as the only alternative – albeit a weak one. This weakness is brought by the China’s influence over Myanmar, the Chinese government said in a statement, that “[the international community] should support the efforts of Myanmar in safeguarding the stability of its national development”. Clarifying China’s support of Myanmar, any resolution or measure introduced in the security council would be vetoed by China.
As the crisis worsens, fears mount that this humanitarian crisis could even turn into a state-sponsored genocide, becoming one of the largest such cases in human history. In prompt, the United Nations, and collective International community must turn its attention towards convincing Myanmar to drop its anti-Rohingya stance, diplomatically engaging a process of national and political reconciliation with the minority population.