Published: Tue, August 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Myanmar military chiefs should be prosecuted for Rohingya 'genocide': UN investigators

Myanmar military chiefs should be prosecuted for Rohingya 'genocide': UN investigators

The mission, which was created by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, concluded in its report that "there is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) chain of command".

"There were very serious allegations that were made to me about sexual violence, about the burning of villages", Rae said about his trip to the refugee camps.

The investigators named six of the country's top military commanders, adding that a longer list of names could be shared with "any competent and credible body pursuing accountability in line with global norms and standards".

The fact-finders dismissed the government and security forces' claims that the operation was a legitimate response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police outposts on August 25.

The U.S., which has described the stateless Rohingya as facing "ethnic cleansing", and the European Union have begun applying sanctions to selected military officers involved in the Rakhine campaign, though not Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, have been detained in Myanmar's infamous Insein prison since December in a case which has sparked a global outcry. The court had been due to deliver a verdict on Monday, but at a brief hearing postponed the hearings until September 3. But it has admitted that the killing of 10 men and boys investigated by Reuters in the village of Inn Din took place and sentenced seven soldiers for the crime.

It also strongly criticised civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to use her position and moral authority to stand up for the Rohingya against the military.

Government spokesman Zaw Htay was not available for comment.

"Unless impunity is addressed, and all ranks within the security forces are held accountable for their past, current and future actions, similar outbreaks of violence and associated atrocity crimes can be expected to continue, with further devastating domestic and regional impact", the report states.

The UN paper said some violations and abuses were also committed by armed ethnic groups in Kachin and Shan state or the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in Rakhine. She then named six generals the team has flagged for a criminal inquiry to prioritize, starting with Military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing.

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The panel, set up past year, interviewed 875 victims and witnesses in Bangladesh and other countries, and analyzed documents, videos, photographs and satellite images.

"The Rohingya are in a continuing situation of severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death", Darusman told reporters.

The Rohingya, who regard themselves as native to Rakhine state, are widely considered as interlopers by Myanmar's Buddhist majority and are denied citizenship. "Its standard response is to deny, dismiss and obstruct", the United Nations report said.

The report also criticized Facebook for allowing the world's biggest social media network to be used to incite violence and hatred.

The UN report singled out Facebook for its "slow and ineffective" response.

Facebook (FB.O) said on Monday it was removing several Myanmar military officials from the social media website and an Instagram account to prevent the spread of "hate and misinformation" after reviewing the content.

Until the day the United Nations and the ICC (International Criminal Court) will present Min Aung Hlaing (Myanmar Military's Commander in Chief) in court and punish him, we are not going to believe any statement.

"We're removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by nearly 12 million people", Facebook said in a blog post.

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing had two active Facebook accounts, one boasting 1.3 million followers and the other 2.8 million. The report urges the prosecution of military leaders for genocide.

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