By Muhammad Mussa
LONDON (AA) – The U.K. minister for the United Nations has urged the international community to support Rohingya refugees.
Speaking at the UN Security Council in New York, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon also argued that much more needs to be done to end the current crises, such as unrestricted and effective access to the UN and that the international community needs to increase its financial support to the refugees.
Ahmad called for the perpetrators of the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar to be held to account and brought to justice.
“The U.K. is playing a leading role in bringing an end to this crisis. We need an international political consensus to bring the appalling humanitarian situation to an end,” Ahmad said in a statement on the government’s website.
“Bangladesh has done more than its fair share to help the refugees. Now it’s the turn of other countries to step up, and provide the money that will help support both refugees and the communities that support them, and for international partners to act together to ensure justice for the victims of the crisis,” he added.
The U.K. is one of the largest donors to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and has donated £129 million ($166 million) to support the nearly one million Rohingya in the country’s refugee camps.
On Monday, the UN released a report calling for an investigation into Burma’s top military officials, stating that they should be prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Rohingya Muslims
Coinciding with the release of the UN report, Facebook shutdown the accounts of Burma’s top military chiefs after having concluded that their content violated the platform’s rules and regulations.
In a report, the UNHCR refugee agency said nearly 170,000 Rohingya likely fled Myanmar in 2012 alone.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
In a recent report, Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience, the OIDA raised the estimated number of murdered Rohingya to 23,962 (± 881) from a Doctors Without Borders figure of 9,400.
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police. Over 115,000 Rohingya houses were also burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.