The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution calling on Myanmar (formerly Burma) to stop inciting hatred against Rohingya Muslims and other members of minority religions in the Southeast Asian nation.
In a 134-9 vote with 28 abstentions on December 27, the General Assembly approved a resolution that condemned human rights abuses against the Rohingya and recommended urgent measures to prevent the spreading of animosity against the community.
The resolution in the 193-member General Assembly followed an appeal earlier in December by The Gambia to the U.N.’s highest court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, to put a halt to the indiscriminate killings, mass rapes, torture and the torching of villages that Myanmar’s military forces have wreaked on the Rohingya community in the Buddhist-majority country starting in August 2017.
The military’s “clearance operations,” as lawyers for The Gambia termed their campaign in their appeal to the ICJ, have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Rohingya and prompted more than 700,000 members of the community to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
The Gambia, a mostly Muslim West African nation that established democratic governance in 2017 after 22 years of brutal dictatorship, brought the plight of the Rohingya to the notice of the ICJ on behalf of dozens of other Muslim countries.
“All that The Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop these acts of barbarity and brutality that have shocked and continue to shock our collective conscience, to stop this genocide of its own people,” Gambian Justice Minister Aboubacarr Marie Tambadou told the international court in opening statements on December 10.
“The slaughter, rape and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya is one of the worst mass atrocities of our time,” said Reed Brody, a counsel with Human Rights Watch known for his work with victims of deposed Gambian dictator Yahyah Jammeh.
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