Dubai – Masaader News
Top military commanders in Myanmar should be investigated and prosecuted for the “gravest” crimes against civilians under international law, including genocide, United Nations-appointed investigators said on Monday.
The development follows the release of a report into the circumstances surrounding the mass exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya people from Myanmar, beginning in mid-August last year – events previously described by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
The crimes committed include murder, rape, torture, sexual slavery, persecution and enslavement, according to the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, the investigators – Marzuki Darusman, Radhika Coomaraswamy and Christopher Sidoti – underlined the horrific and organized nature of the brutality meted out on civilians in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since 2011, as well as Kachin and Shan states.
“The fact-finding Mission has concluded, on reasonable grounds, that the patterns of gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law that it is found, amount to the gravest crime under international law,” Mr. Sidoti said.
“These have principally been committed by the military, the Tatmadaw,” he added, referring to Myanmar’s armed forces. “The Mission has concluded that criminal investigation and prosecution is warranted, focusing on the top Tatmadaw generals, in relation to the three categories of crimes under international law; genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”