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Rohingya and UN report: Myanmar Military figures must be investigated for genocide


The United Nations has recently published a report stating top military figures in Myanmar must be investigated for genocide in Rakhine state and crimes against humanity in other areas.

CHRISTOPHER SIDOTI
Member of UN Mission on Myanmar
“Criminal investigation and prosecution is warranted, focusing on the top Tatmadaw generals, in relation to the three categories of crimes under international law.”

This report comes after an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the mass exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya people from Myanmar starting in August 2017. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has described it as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

According to the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, crimes committed by its military include murder, rape, torture, sexual slavery, persecution and enslavement.

RADHIKA COOMARASWAMY
Member of the UN Mission on Myanmar
“The scale, brutality, and systematic nature of rape and violence indicate that they are parts of a deliberate strategy to intimidate, terrorize, or punish the civilian population.”

The report calls for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations has called for international cooperation.

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
Secretary-General, United Nations
“Effective international cooperation will be critical to ensuring that accountability mechanisms are credible, transparent, impartial, independent and comply with Myanmar’s obligations under international law.”

However, this would need the backing of the permanent five UN Security Council members, two of whom China and Russia are known defenders of Myanmar.

According to Benedict Rogers, co-founder and deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, despite the unlikelihood of Russia and China giving their approval, the international community should explore any and all means for justice.

BENEDICT ROGERS
Human Rights Activist
“Could there be an ad-hoc tribunal instead of an international criminal court case? So I think the international community should be looking not just at the question of the international criminal court, as such, but at the question of how do we hold the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide accountable.”

The UN mission investigation was based on satellite imagery and interviews with more than 700 survivors.