UN: Myanmar intended genocide for Rohingya
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/27/18, 10:47 am
A report by a United Nations fact-finding mission called for prosecution of Myanmar’s top military officials for genocidal attacks against the Rohingya Muslims. The military launched a crackdown against the Rohingya in Rakhine state a year ago that sent about 700,000 people fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh. In the most detailed report yet, the three-member UN mission said it found conclusive evidence that the country’s military carried out abuse that “undoubtedly amounted to the gravest crimes under international law.”
The UN mission team did not have access to Myanmar, also called Burma, but collated information from satellite imagery and from several Rohingya who fled the country. The narratives include accounts of gang rapes, torching of hundreds of villages, and killings of children. The team also noted hate speech by military commanders and other perpetrators and a “level of organization indicating a plan for destruction.” The last time the UN identified “genocidal intent” was in response to crimes in Bosnia and Rwanda. “The crimes in Rakhine state, and the manner in which they were perpetrated, are similar in nature, gravity, and scope to those that have allowed genocidal intent to be established in other contexts,” the report said.
Members of the mission said they gathered “sufficient information” to prosecute senior officials, including commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and five other generals. It also called for either the International Criminal Court or a special tribunal to handle the charges. In the meantime, the team asked for a special mechanism to watch the ongoing human rights crisis in the country.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.