U.N. Report Recommends Myanmar Military Leaders Must be Investigated for Genocide Crimes Committed Christians and Other Minorities

Thousands of new Rohingya refugee arrivals cross the border near Anzuman Para village, Palong Khali, Bangladesh. ; As an estimated 500,000 Rohingya sought safety in Bangladesh between late-August and October 2017, UNHCR worked with the authorities to create a transit centre to prepare for a further influx, as some 11,000 people crossed the border on 9th October. They crossed by land into south-eastern Bangladesh through several points. Many came from the Buthidaung area in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Some said they fled torching and killings. Others said they left in fear ahead of anticipated violence. To reach Bangladesh, they walked for days, many carrying children. They waded through marshland before swimming across the Naf river that divides the two countries. UNHCR worked swiftly to accommodate as many as possible in the camps and settlements in Kutupalong and Balukhali, and provided emergency relief items.

A U.N. fact-finding mission has recommended that Myanmar military leaders be investigated for genocidal acts against Rohingyas in the Rakhine state and crimes committed against Christians and other minorities in two other states.

In what is said to be the harshest U.N. condemnation of the situation in Myanmar, a new 20-page report from a mandated three-member fact-finding mission documented systemic murder, rape, sexual enslavement and other human rights abuses committed by the nation’s military forces (Tatmadaw) in the Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states.

The report, based on over 847 interviews, concludes that there is sufficient evidence to warrant the investigation and prosecution of six senior military officials in the Tatmadaw chain of command to “determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine state.”

Myanmar officials have claimed that there attacks on the communities were responses to security threats from rebel groups.

“These policies and practices violate Myanmar’s obligations under international law and amount to criminal conduct. They are also unwarranted; military necessity would never justify killing indiscriminately, gang raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages,” the mission report states. “The Tatmadaw’s tactics are consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats, especially in Rakhine state, but also in northern Myanmar.”

In the Rakhine state, over 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to neighboring Bangladesh after the beginning of a planned government-led onslaught on Aug. 25, 2017. The U.N. mission stresses that the crimes committed in the Rakhine state “may also amount to the crime of apartheid.”

The mission concretely asserts that crimes against humanity “have been committed” in the Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states mostly by the Tatmadaw. The report states that estimates show that 100,000 people are living as internally displaced persons in Kachin and Shan states on top of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas that fled to Bangladesh.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith