(Featured image credit: Human Rights Watch)
Controversially, the UN Mapping Unit has removed Rohingya village names from its maps, following Burmese government destruction and erasure of the villages.Former Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee commented that the government was purposefully making it hard for refugees to return to places with no name and no evidence that they ever lived there.She added the United Nations was complicit in allowing that to happen by not challenging the Myanmar government:
Despite complaints, the UN Resident Coordinator has yet to take action to fix this problem.
Action Alert: Tweet at The United Nations
Please tweet at the UN Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren on Twitter @OlaAlmgrenKan Kya was one of almost 400 villages destroyed by the Burmese military in 2017, according to satellite images analyzed @HRW. This is one of at least a dozen whose names have been erased. #RohingyaGenocide Click To Tweet .@OlaAlmgren, please ensure the UN mapping staff adds the original place names of all destroyed #Rohingya villages because eventual repatriation of Rohingya demands recognition of the right to land and property. Click To Tweet The UN policy is to support that repatriation and the mapping unit should not be sending out conflicting messages. @OlaAlmgren Click To Tweet
Please refer to the concerns listed above and ask him to ensure the UN mapping staff add to all new maps the original place names of all destroyed Rohingya villages (this can be added in parenthesis) because eventual repatriation of Rohingya demands recognition of right to land and property. The UN policy is to support that repatriation and the mapping unit should not be sending out conflicting messages..
Please write to the directors of the UN Resident Coordinator’s office:
- Marie Spaak, Head of Office OCHA at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aiofe McDonnell, UNHCR Communications Focal Point email@example.com
- Isabelle Louis UNEP Deputy Regional Director firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dawn Del Rio Deputy UNDP Deputy Resident at : email@example.com
- Nicolas Burniat, UN Women’s Representative at: firstname.lastname@example.org
News reports indicate Burmese troops are massing at the border with Bangladesh and the government in Dhaka has lodged a protest with its neighbor. Though the reason for the Burmese military’s provocations is not clear, it comes only days after Bangladesh has referred the two witnesses who are testifying against the military to the international courts.
In Burma’s Rakhine State, recent fighting has continued to destroy villages and target civilians, not only Rohingya but also Rakhine Buddhists that the brutal Tatamadaw troops suspect of linkages to the organized resistance. This Monday the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that these are likely “further war crimes” and that unfortunately no measures for accountability had been taken in the country.
Eight members of the United Nations Security Council have called for Rohingya to be included in the upcoming elections in Burma. However, Indonesia failed to join the statement, along with Vietnam, Russia and China.