We undersigned Rohingya community organisations today joined forces in calling on members of the United Nations Security Council not to repeat the mistakes it made in failing to act on warnings of an impending military offensive against the Rohingya in 2017.
The Burmese military has been carrying out an increased number of indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Chin State, Sagaing Region and Magwe, for several weeks, with significant escalations of attacks in recent days, including attacks in Thantlang.
At the same time there have been significant reinforcements of soldiers and military equipment and supplies in the region, just as happened in Rakhine State against Rohingya in 2017.
While persecution of the Rohingya has been particularly extreme and facing genocide, all ethnic and religious groups in Burma have faced persecution, discrimination, violence and human rights violations, at the hands of the military.
We stand in solidarity with our Chin brothers and sisters today in warning the world that from our experience, it is clear that the Chin people are at extreme risk of a large scale military offensive and would face similar human rights violations as we faced, including, rape, torture and killings, and the burning and looting of homes, businesses and religious buildings.
After the military offensive against Rohingya civilians in 2016, it was clear that further attacks were likely only a matter of time, but despite warnings of genocide and calls for UN Security Council action as soldiers massed ready for attack, no action was taken. The Security Council failed us.
Even after the military offensive the UN Security Council failed to act on the recommendation of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar to refer Burma to the International Criminal Court. The Burmese military were allowed to get away with genocide of the Rohingya without facing justice and accountability.
All the people of Burma suffer now as the Burmese military is emboldened by impunity for its crimes, holding a coup, and preparing another large scale military offensive against ethnic civilians.
There were countless missed opportunities to prevent the genocide against the Rohingya. They were not acted upon. Now there is an opportunity for the Security Council to act to prevent another military offensive. It breaks our heart to think of thousands of people experiencing what we have experienced in 2016 and 2017, knowing that it could be prevented.
UN Security Council members have failed us and hope the UN will not fail the Chin people.
Tun Khin: +44 78 88714866
Nay San Lwin: +49 176 62139138
Dr. Hla Myint: +61 4 23381904