The U.N. General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution by the 193-member world body on December 24, urges Burmese government action to improve the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority “and to protect all their human rights, including their right to a nationality.”
The resolution noted substantial efforts by Burmese’s government towards political reform, democratization, national reconciliation and improvements in human rights. But it said there were still “systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The General Assembly urged the government “to accelerate its efforts to address discrimination, human rights violations, violence, displacement and economic deprivation affecting various ethnic minorities,” singling out the Rohingyas and Kachin.
The U.N. General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming positive changes in Burma, but expressing serious concern at an upsurge of sectarian violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Arakan state.
The European Union-sponsored resolution was adopted by consensus, with the assembly president banging his gavel.
EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton said earlier this month after the resolution’s approval by the assembly’s human rights committee that she was “particularly pleased by the constructive approach by the government of Myanmar in working closely on the text with the EU.”
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said earlier this month that for nearly six months, the U.N. has not able to provide assistance to the IDPs in Arakan State where Rohingyas were keeping in the camps which condition is dire.
The Rohingyas in the western state of Arakan, are in citizenship limbo, and the Burmese government refuses to do anything about the situation, despite the international community’s calls for Burma to give the Rohingyas legal status.
Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect, and repression in Burma since it achieved independence in 1948.
Buddhist extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages in Arakan where hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks. Burmese Army forces allegedly provided the extremist Buddhists containers of petrol for torching the houses of Muslim villagers, who are then forced to flee. Burmese’s government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority, according to Human rights reports.
Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued separate statements, calling on Myanmar to take action to protect the Rohingya Muslim population against extremist Buddhists.