Myanmar generals must face genocide charges: UN panel

Adjust Comment Print

But on Monday, a UN-backed fact-finding mission into violations in Myanmar said the country's "top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State".

The authors criticised Aung San Suu Kyi, and said she had "not used her de facto position as Head of Government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events" in Rakhine state.

The site aired support for the military's bloody "clearance operations" previous year that forced some 700,000 Rohingya over the border into Bangladesh.

Yangon-based political analyst David Mathieson said that Facebook's action, together with the damning United Nations report, force Myanmar's military brass "into an isolation they're not going to like". This led to more than 7 lakh Rohingya fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.

These Rohingya refugees crossed the Myanmar-Bangladesh border by boat through the Bay of Bengal past year.

They said the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law.


The commander-in-chief of the army said the "clearance operation was defined as completing an unfinished job of solving the long-standing Bengali problem", which the mission say is an example of genocidal intent.

"The result is a continuing situation of severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death", the investigators say.

Facebook deleted the accounts of these officials after the report's release, as well as other pages associated with the Myanmar military.

The fact-finding mission named a half-dozen "alleged perpetrators", among them some of the most senior members of the Myanmar military, including commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.

The UN Security Council should refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and concerned governments should immediately present a UN resolution to establish an International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to preserve evidence and assist in investigations for future prosecution of those responsible for atrocity crimes in Myanmar.

In its final 20-page report, the mission said there was "genocidal intent" behind the actions of the Myanmar government. Worldwide groups have accused the military of carrying out ethnic cleansing, or even genocide, an allegation denied by the government, which says it was responding to attacks on security forces.


Darusman said a wider confidential list of suspects included civilians and insurgents as well as members of the military.

The Rohingya are one of the many ethnic minorities in Myanmar and make up the largest percentage of Muslims.

The mission also said that to expect justice from a domestic investigation in Myanmar is "simply naive, there is no accountability and there is no impartiality". The social media giant was previously accused by United Nations experts of helping incite violence in Myanmar and failing to take measures to stop the spread of hate and anti-Rohinyga propaganda on its platform.

"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.

"Although improved in recent months, Facebook's response has been slow and ineffective", the report said, urging an independent probe of whether posts and messages on the platform had "led to real-world discrimination and violence".

The fact-finders' report also comes the same day two Reuters journalists were expecting a verdict in a case that could see them imprisoned for up to 14 years after they were arrested while investigating soldiers' participation in a Rohingya massacre.


Comments