Generals accused, Suu Kyi slammed for 'Rohingya genocide'

28 August, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • LEADING ARTICLEAugust 28 2018 12:01am The Times Genocidal IntentAn outspoken UN report condemns Burma’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims

"Myanmar'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, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States", a UN-backed fact-finding mission said.

Investigators noted that the civilian government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is nowhere near as culpable as the military for the slaughter of civilians because Myanmar's constitution grants ultimate authority to the military.

Referring to Mrs Suu Kyi's culpability, the investigators state that "if the Nobel prize victor has such moral authority, perhaps she should act", but clarified that the biggest share of blame is placed on the military.

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 global law, principally by... the Tatmadaw, but also by other security forces".

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, the head of the mission, Marzuki Darusman, insisted that "the only way forward is to call for (Min Aung Hlaing's) resignation and stepping down immediately".

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

Earlier, more than 130 members of parliament from five countries in south-east Asia had demanded that Myanmar be investigated by the International Criminal Court, reported The Guardian.

"Specifically, we are banning 20 Burmese individuals and organizations from Facebook - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military's Myawady television network", Facebook said.

In September 2017, U.N. Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called the situation in Myanmar a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", condemning the government's lack of response and calling on them to "stop claiming the Rohingyas are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages".

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".

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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".

Packer said Myanmar has at least $12 billion in exports annually, and that powerful people, including military generals, benefit financially from foreign investments. "And that is the role of the commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing".

The report said the situation was a "catastrophe looming for decades", and an inevitable result of "severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death".

"The Tatmadaw acts with complete impunity and has never been held accountable", the report states.

The military ruled Myanmar for almost 50 years after seizing power in a 1962 coup and retains considerable powers under a 2008 constitution.

"The ethnic violence in Myanmar has been truly horrific", it said.

United Nations -mandated investigators said in a report published earlier on Monday that Facebook had been "a useful instrument for those seeking to spread hate, in a context where for most users Facebook is the Internet".

"We're removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by nearly 12 million people", the statement further reads.

"While we were too slow to act, we're now making progress", the company said.

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