Myanmar military junta, responsible for the Rohingya genocide, must step down immediately!
The Sixth Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day
The international community must ensure the Rohingya refugees’ safe and dignified return and citizenship rights.
It’s August 25th again. Six years ago today, the Myanmar government unleashed a relentless genocide against the Rohingya people it has long been persecuting and repressing. The memory of this horrific genocide, in which tens of thousands were slaughtered, while hundreds of thousands fled their homes, is still vivid. Still, the lives of the Rohingya are becoming more devastating than ever.
While the international community, including the United Nations, has held the Myanmar military accountable for sexual violence, arson, massacres, and other crimes against humanity amid the genocide, the military junta has even staged a coup. The Myanmar military’s coup, which occurred in the wake of a lack of accountability for the Rohingya genocide, has made it even more difficult to hold those responsible accountable and to seek the truth.
While it is a positive change to see Myanmar citizens reflecting on the Rohingya genocide after witnessing the Myanmar military’s brutal war crimes against humanity for more than two and a half years since the coup, the international community’s inaction has made the situation even more difficult for the Rohingya. For example, although hundreds of Rohingya people in Rakhine State were reportedly killed by Cyclone Mocha in May this year, no effective relief measures have been taken for them. With the collapse of the state system due to the military coup in Myanmar, the Rohingya in Myanmar are effectively being pushed from a marginalized to an even more extremely marginalized situation. In addition, conditions in the camps are deteriorating as the international community’s attention and support for the refugee camps in Bangladesh, which were similarly affected by Cyclone Mocha, dwindles.
It is obvious that a pilot repatriation project for Rohingya to return to Myanmar, initiated by the current Myanmar military junta, lacks any credibility as the military junta itself has not been recognized as a legitimate government by the international community since the coup. The fundamental prerequisite for the safe and dignified return of the Rohingya is for the Myanmar military to immediately step down from power and take responsibility for the Rohingya genocide. The victims cannot return to a place where the killers request them to. The international community must do all it can to ensure that Rohingya live in safety and dignity, at least in the refugee camps in Bangladesh.
We also call on the South Korean government. Rather than inviting Myanmar’s ambassador to South Korea to ride in a South Korean military tank while trying to sell arms, under the excuse that it’s customary to invite ASEAN diplomatic missions, South Korea should expand its support for Rohingya refugees. We note in particular that since the Rohingya genocide, when the issue of Korean companies cooperating with the Myanmar military was raised, the South Korean government has not taken any action against these companies. In both Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy and Yoon Seok-yeol’s “Value Alliance,” we do not see values ahead of the profits of Korean companies. This is why South Korean society, including the government, must reflect on what it means to fulfill its responsibilities in the international community in light of the Rohingya refugees.
We remember the Rohingya who are still struggling to get through the day, and we will continue to stand in solidarity with the Rohingya people until they are safely returned to Myanmar and respected as part of Myanmar’s democracy.
August 25, 2023
Korean Civil Society in Solidarity with Rohingya
Asian Dignity Initiative
Changjak 21 writers
Committee of Justice, Peace and Ecology, Korean Catholic Religious Men
Committee to Support Imprisoned Workers
Dasan Human Rights Center
Friends of Asia
Human rights education center ‘Deul’
Incorporated Organization Shilcheon Bulgyo
Jesuit Research Center for Advocacy and Solidarity
Jesus Peace Human Rights Institute WHAT
KOCO(Korean Solidarity for Overseas Community Organization in Asia
Korean House for International Solidarity
LIFE & SAFETY NETWORK
MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
New Bodhisattva Network
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD)
Sarangbang Group for Human Rights
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