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1st Anniversary Commemoration Of Rohingya Genocide Must Spur World To Action

On this day of Remembrance, we, the undersigned Rohingya organisations, reiterate that the international community takesgenuine action against the perpetrators of the Myanmar genocide of Rohingya and prevents it from recurring in the future.

On this day of 25 August last year, the Myanmar military, police and non-state actors launched a carefully preplanned vicious operation in northern Rakhine State killing thousands of Rohingya, torching hundreds of their villages, and raping a large number of women and girls, resulting into an unprecedented exodus of more than 700,000 genocide survivors into Bangladesh. The attack was the latest chapter in Myanmar’s decades-long genocide which surpassed all previous campaigns of violence, including the onslaughts in 1978 and 1991-92. But the perpetrators are still enjoying full impunity while the Rohingya continue to suffer without justice and protection.

The human rights and humanitarian situation of those Rohingya still left inside Rakhine State remains under constant threat facing high levels of poverty and malnutrition. At the same time, Myanmar continues to impose a callous system of state-sponsored segregation that amounts to apartheid, which often confines Rohingya to ghettos and villages in virtual open-air prisons. The situation inside Rakhine State is not conducive for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repartition of the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. It warrants urgent international protection.

We urge upon International community to redouble effort to hold Myanmar officials to account for atrocity crimes, care for victims, and ensure that conditions in Rakhine State are safe enough for the hundreds of thousands who have fled in desperation to return. Specifically, members of the UN Security Council should refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. It is equally important that International states support the calls of Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, to establish an international accountability mechanism that aims to impartially investigate human rights violations in the country

As we share stories and honour the memories of those who have lost their lives, we do so with an eye to the future. We hope that one year from now we will have more positive developments to look back on, but this is something that will only be possible with the world’s support.

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