Press "Enter" to skip to content

During 70 Years of Rohingya Genocide, Only Six Myanmar Military Generals Under Prosecution

Myanmar’s military carried out a systematic mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya with “genocidal intent” and the commander-in-chief and other five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law, U.N. investigators said on Monday.

The civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi has allowed hate speech to thrive, destroyed documents and failed to protect minorities from crimes against humanity and war crimes by the army in Arakan (Rakhine), Kachin and Shan states, they said in a report.

In 2017, A year ago, government troops led a brutal crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on 30 Myanmar police posts and a military base.

More than 800,000 Rohingya were forced to flee the massacre and are now living in makeshift camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

Christopher Sidoti, Marzuki Darusman and Radhika Coomaraswamy, members of the Independent International Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar attends a news conference on the publication of their final written report at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, August 27, 2018. REUTERS

The U.N. report said the military action, which included the scorching of villages, was “grossly disproportionate to actual security threats”.

The United Nations defines genocide as acts meant to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part. Such a designation is rare under international law, but has been used in countries including Bosnia and Sudan and in the Islamic State campaign against the Yazidi communities in Iraq and Syria.

Read more from Report: 

“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,” said the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.

In the final 20-page report, it said: “There is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw (army) chain of command, so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine state.”

The investigators cited six Myanmar military leaders by name as “priority subjects” for possible prosecution, led by the commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing. A longer list of names is to be kept in the office of the U.N. human rights chief for possible use in future judicial proceedings. The United States and European Union have already slapped sanctions on some Myanmar military leaders, though Min Aung Hlaing is not among them.

The list includes Brigadier-General Aung Aung, commander of the 33rd Light Infantry Division, which oversaw operations in the coastal village of Inn Din where 10 Rohingya captive boys and men were killed.

Read more on Mass Execution:

Myanmar military admits to murder of 10 Rohingya Muslims

The four other generals the UN panel said should be prosecuted were named as the army deputy commander-in-chief, Vice Senior-General Soe Win; the commander of the Bureau of Special Operations-3, Lieutenant-General Aung Kyaw Zaw; the commander of Western Regional Military Command, Major-General Maung Maung Soe; and the commander of 99th Light Infantry Division, Brigadier-General Than Oo.

The Myanmar government, which was sent an advance copy of the U.N. report in line with standard practice, has not commented.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The three-member “fact-finding mission” working under a mandate from the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council meticulously assembled hundreds of accounts by expatriate Rohingya, satellite footage and other information to assemble the report.

Through hundreds of interviews with expatriate Rohingya and use of satellite footage, the team compiled accounts of crimes including gang rape, the torching of hundreds of villages, enslavement, and killings of children — some before the eyes of their own parents. The team was not granted access to Myanmar and has decried a lack of cooperation or even response from the government, which received an early copy of the report.

The United Nations does not apply the word “genocide” lightly. The fact-finding team’s assessment suggests the crimes against the Rohingya could meet the strict legal definition — which was last met over crimes in Bosnia and Rwanda nearly a quarter-century ago.

“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,” said the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.

In the final 20-page report, it said: “There is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw (army) chain of command, so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine state.”

Read IIFFMM Press release:

The report said Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, “has not used her de facto position as Head of Government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events, or seek alternative avenues to meet a responsibility to protect the civilian population”.

International courts have a mixed record on prosecutions for genocide.

In 2008, a UN court sentenced former army colonel Theoneste Bagosora, accused of masterminding the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994, to life in prison on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. His sentence was later cut to 35 years on appeal.

In 2016, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was convicted by U.N. judges of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. He is appealing against the conviction.

Karadžić Found Guilty of Genocide by Corporate Funded Kangaroo Court in 2016. Image: REUTERS

The ICC issued arrest warrants for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 over his alleged role in war crimes including genocide in Sudan’s breakaway Darfur province in 2003. He remains in office.

Top: Authenticated photo taken Sept 1, 2017, shows the 10 Rohingya men, hands bound, just before they were taken away and murdered. Bottom: Relatives of the dead Rohingya men, arranged directly below the man in the family who was killed and await justice. Image: Reuters

From previous examples of genocide International court took almost 40 years as the maximum time span for justice. For the Rohingya genocide are gone 70 years and the evidences not enough for International courts to bring justice? Or Rohingya have to wait another 70 years?

Source: News Agencies

Comments

comments