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The Rohingya Crisis

By Jasper Ang, The Wall Street Journal

Published: 20 Mar 2019 - 11:29 AM

Rohingyas from the 2012 Rakhine State riots.

Rohingyas from the 2012 Rakhine State riots.

During the council session, the Rohingya Crisis was the key topic being discussed. French advocates had claimed that Myanmar committed genocide against the Rohingyas by discriminating them from their population. France and Myanmar both had submitted some pieces of evidence to prove their own point and the council would be reviewing the validity of the evidence.

France provided an official document from the UN which shows that Myanmar had actually breached one of the terms of genocide. The council agreed that this evidence was reliable and relevant to the topic. Another evidence presented was “The process of “othering” the Rohingya and their discriminatory treatment began long before 2012.” which falls under stage 3 of genocide (discrimination). However this evidence was rendered immaterial due to the inaccuracy of evidence in stating that this falls under stage 3 of genocide. Next, France argued that while the Government claimed that “clearance operations” of the Rohingyas had ended on 5 September, 9 military engagement continued well into October, this showed that the government of Myanmar did not put in effort to ensure that the mass killing had stopped. The council however claimed that this might imply the lack of effort to ensure the mass killing but not the fact that no effort had been put in at all to stop the mass killing.

On the other hand, Myanmar advocates claimed that they did not know about the incidents happening, relating to genocide, and pinpointed that the racial differences between racial groups might had been directly related to the suspected acts of genocide committed. The council could not believe this evidence, for the statements had no supporting evidence. Myanmar also said that although the UN Security Council (UNSC) called on them to stop excessive military force, this could only suggest that there were violence involved but no genocide. However the council claimed that according to the genocide convention, the presence of violence could suggest genocide acts being done and the possibility of genocide being committed should not be ruled out.

As the council session pulled to a closure, France’s claim towards Myanmar of the suspected action of genocide cannot be completely justified and yet was not completely invalid, for the evidence brought up to support the claim was insufficient.