Swedish Minister about Rohingya refugees crisis: The time to act is now

After the release of an UN rapport about the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs writes it is time for the world to act.

Refugee camp hosting the Rohingyan refugees. Photo: John Owens

A new rapport from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council concludes that a number of generals from the Myanmar army should be prosecuted for war crimes and genocide committed against the Muslim rohingya population in the country.

That lead Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallstöm, to write following on twitter on 28 August:
“Report by UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar finds that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed, points at need to investigate mil leaders for genocide. The world cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities – the time to act is now.”

Margot Wallström visited Rohingya refugee camps in November 2017.

The rapport also states that the government in Myanmar has failed to protect the minority population from war crimes committed by the army.

On Saturday 25 August it was a year since the Rohingya crisis broke out in Myanmar. It started when a militant Muslim group attacked several police and military posts in the state of Rakhine and killed several officers and soldiers. It caused the Myanmar military to attack villages in Rakhine, where the majority of the Rohingya Muslims lived.

The United Nations describes the military offensive in Rakhine as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, while Myanmar’s military says it is fighting Rohingya militants and denies targeting civilians.

According to Medecins Sans Frontieres, an international humanitarian organization, at least 6700 rohingya – of which 730 children – were killed in the following months. At least 288 villages were completely or partially destroyed. According to the Burmese government 400 died.

Many of the Rohingya fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh. The camp at Cox’s Bazar is one the world’s largest refugee camps and houses almost one million refugees. Click on the map to see the location of the camp.

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