UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling on Myanmar to grant citizenship and equal rights to the country’s beleaguered Rohingya minority.

Acting by consensus on Monday, the 193-member Assembly expressed “serious concern” at Myanmar’s treatment of the Muslim minority group.

The 1.3 million Rohingyas are denied citizenship under national law and are effectively stateless and have no rights. Myanmar authorities want to officially categorize them as “Bengalis,” implying they are illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. After Myanmar started a transition from dictatorship to democracy in 2011, newfound freedom of expression fanned the flames of hatred against the Rohingyas by the Buddhist majority.

Violence by Buddhist mobs left up to 280 people dead — most of them members of the religious minority — and chased another 140,000 from their homes. The Rohingyas now live under apartheid-like conditions in camps or in restricted villages in Rakhine state.

The UN resolution urged members of the group to be granted “full citizenship” and be allowed to self-identify as Rohingya and not Bengali, as the government insists.

It also called on Myanmar to provide Rohingya with “equal access” to services and to allow the group to return to their communities with the protection of the government.

The resolution noted “continued positive developments in Myanmar,” in reference to the political and economic reforms undertaken since the ruling military gave up some of its political power in 2011.But it also urged authorities to step up its efforts to end remaining human rights violations and abuses, “including arbitrary arrest and detention, forced displacement, rape and other forms of sexual violence.”

Critics say the country’s reforms are now slowing and that conditions have worsened after Western countries, including the United States, began relaxing long-standing sanctions and renewing diplomatic ties with Myanmar.