Finally, an outgoing representative of the United Nations has said what should have been stated a long time ago about the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar.
Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the BBC that Myanmar's de-facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, "should have resigned" for her "deeply regrettable" response to the crisis, which spiraled out of control under her watch.
Al Hussein's comments came just days after a U.N. report stated Myanmar's military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of the ethnic community with "genocidal intent."
The findings also mentioned how the massacre was enabled by the criminal silence of the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
However, al Hussein's recent remarks are probably the first time a U.N. representative has explicitly suggested she should resign.
And his criticism and condemnation is not unfounded.
While it's true the real perpetrator of the genocidal campaign is Myanmar's army, led by its commander-in-chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Aung San Suu Kyi is equally, if not more, culpable.
She spent nearly 15 years under house arrest for her human rights advocacy under a military regime. She received the Nobel Peace Prize for her human rights activism.
And, yet, when she was finally given the chance to rule, Aung San Suu Kyi remained silent when one of the world's most horrific human rights abuses broke out in her own country.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are officially stateless. Despite the fact they have been living in the country for years. The government regards them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship. On the other hand Bangladesh has refused to grant Rohingyas refugee status since 1992.
The situation grew uglier for them in 2012, when Ashin Wirathu launched an anti-Muslim genocidal campaign, which set off a wave of bloodshed, resulting in hundreds of deaths of Rohingya Muslims, leaving more than 140,000 left homeless and over 100,000 forced to flee.
The situation got worse last year, when the military launched a crackdown on the community under the garb of counterterrorism efforts.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, some 700,000 people have been forced to flee Bangladesh as Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi looked the other way and did nothing. Countless others have been murdered, tortured and raped.
Even the ones who managed to escape to Bangladesh, are living in sordid conditions. Many have been forced into prostitution and drug trade due to their vulnerable position.
In response, Aung San Suu Kyi blamed "foreign" elements for spreading misinformation, she mulled banning the term "Rohingya," and multiple times refused to let U.N. investigators into Rakhine State, where most of the abuses occurred.
Granted, she doesn't have the military command but the least Suu Kyi could have done was condemn the crisis.
But she failed to do even that.
And that is why, not only should Aung San Suu Kyi step down, she should also be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize.
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