U.N. urges Myanmar to give citizenship to Rohingya Muslims

Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar wave as they are transported by a wooden boat to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar in this April 8, 2013 file photo. (Reuters)

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution urging Myanmar to provide "full citizenship" to its Rohingya Muslim minority and to allow them to move freely throughout the country.

Denied citizenship by national law, the 1.3 million Rohingyas are effectively stateless and have almost no rights. Myanmar authorities want to officially categorize them as "Bengalis," implying they are illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

Following deadly clashes with the majority Buddhists after Myanmar started a transition from dictatorship to democracy in 2011, the Rohingyas now live under apartheid-like conditions in camps or in restricted villages.

The assembly resolution adopted by consensus late Monday also urges Myanmar's government to ensure that the Rohingyas have equal access to services such as health care and education and address the root causes of violence and discrimination.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46