Myanmar military leaders should face ‘genocide’ charges

Myanmar’s army 'killed Muslim Rohingyas with genocidal intent’

It specifically faults Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate who is the country's effective civilian leader, for failing to use her position, or her "moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events, or seek alternative avenues to meet a responsibility to protect the civilian population".

They blamed the country's de facto civilian leader, Nobel Peace Prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to use her "moral authority" to protect civilians.

The Mission, established by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, said it found patterns of gross human rights violations and abuses committed in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States that "undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under worldwide law, principally by... the Tatmadaw, but also by other security forces".

Panel member Christopher Sidoti said "the clarity of the chain of command in Myanmar" meant the six generals must be prosecuted, even in the absence of a "smoking gun" piece of evidence to prove who had ordered the crimes.

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.

"The Tatmadaw's contempt for human life... and for global law, should be a cause of concern for the entire population of Myanmar and for the worldwide community", Marzuki Darusman, chair of the fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said at a press conference.

Myanmar has denied allegations made by refugees, saying its troops engaged in lawful counterinsurgency operations against Muslim militants.

The report calls for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The report named commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Army, Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, and said he should be prosecuted of human rights abuse and genocide, along with five other generals.


It's not known how many Rohingya have died as the result of the attacks, but the United Nations team says an estimate of 10,000 deaths is "conservative".

The 20-page report consisting of its main findings was based on 847 interviews, satellite imagery, authenticated documents, photographs, and video, and covered serious abuses in Rakhine, Shan, and Kachin States from 2011 to the present.

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

It said the pages, which claimed to be independent, had been used to push the message of the Myanmar military.

One of those commanders, Lt. Gen. Aung Kyaw Zaw, has already been singled out for USA sanctions as punishment for the attacks on Rohingya. The report concluded that these violations reflect a longstanding pattern of conduct by the Myanmar military authorities and the need to end the cycle of impunity. "So it's hard to say exactly that there's a link between the postponement and the UN [Security Council] meeting, but there are possibilities", defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung said.

"The main perpetrator, the people that we want the spotlight on, is the Tatmadaw", said mission member Radhika Coomaraswamy, a Sri Lankan former United Nations undersecretary-general, referring to Myanmar's military.

Facebook said a day after publication of the investigation that it had been "too slow" to address hate speech in Myanmar and it was acting to remedy the problem by hiring more Burmese speakers and investing in technology to identify problematic content.

Last week, CBSN spoke to Reuters global investigative reporter Steve Stecklow, who wrote about the discovery of more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments and images on Facebook attacking the minority group.

In a statement announcing its action on Monday, Facebook said it was removing 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook pages.

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