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Donor govts urged to recognise crimes against Rohingya as genocide

October 22, 2020 00:00:00

Fortify Rights on Wednesday said donor governments seeking to raise one billion dollars in aid for Rohingya should acknowledge the crimes perpetrated against them in Myanmar as genocide and crimes against humanity, reports UNB.

The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the UN refugee agency will co-host a virtual donor conference to raise humanitarian funds for displaced Rohingya and host communities.

"Genocide is the root cause of the humanitarian needs, and governments should acknowledge that," said Matthew Smith, Fortify Rights Chief Executive Officer.

"If we ever hope to live in a world free from genocide, we've to diagnose it as it's unfolding. Any failure to address the root crimes will only invite this annual scramble for funds, year after year," he said.

This week, Fortify Rights joined Refugees International and 33 other organisations in a joint letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling on the US government to make a genocide determination with regard to the crimes committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.

"A genocide determination would send a sense of urgency to spur the kind of multilateral diplomatic engagement and pressure needed to ensure that Myanmar refrains from committing further atrocities and, ultimately, creates the conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, and informed return of Rohingya refugees to their homeland," the joint letter said.

Rohingya people have long decried the acts of violence committed against them as genocide.

Unpublished quantitative data collected by Fortify Rights and a team of Rohingya researchers found that 100 percent of Rohingya respondents in Bangladesh believe the Myanmar military is intent on destroying them.

The US government has never publicly determined the Myanmar military committed genocide or crimes against humanity, said the Fortify Rights. On October 23, The Gambia will file a "Memorial" in its lawsuit against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, making its case for how the government of Myanmar is responsible for genocide against Rohingya in Rakhine State.

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