UN adopts resolution condemning Myanmar crackdown on Rohingya

An exhausted Rohingya helps an elderly family member and a child as they arrive at Kutupalong refugee camp. Source: AP

The UN General Assembly has urged Myanmar to end a military campaign against Muslim Rohingya and called for the appointment of a UN special envoy, despite opposition from China, Russia and some regional countries.

The United Nations has adopted a resolution on the situation of alleged human rights abuses in Myanmar.

122 nations voted in favor of a resolution, including Australia, with 10 nations voting against and 24 abstentions.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) put forward the resolution.

China, Russia, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam joined Myanmar in voting against the measure as did Belarus, Syria and Zimbabwe.

Inside a Rohingya refugee camp
Inside a Rohingya refugee camp

The resolution calls on the government to allow access for aid workers, ensure the return of all refugees and grant full citizenship rights to the Rohingya.

It requests that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appoint a special envoy to Myanmar.

The measure was adopted by the assembly after its budget committee gave the green light to funds for the new position of UN special envoy to Myanmar.

Aid groups set up child-friendly space in Rohingya camps to prevent abuse
Aid groups set up child-friendly space in Rohingya camps to prevent abuse

More than 650,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled the mainly Buddhist country since the military operation was launched in Rakhine state in late August.

Myanmar authorities insist the campaign is aimed at rooting out Rohingya militants who attacked police posts on August 25 but the United Nations has said the violence amounts to ethnic cleansing.

Last week, the UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said she had been banned from the country and that the government had cut off all cooperation with her.

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