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The UN accuses Myanmar’s military of genocide

· Repeated violence against the Rohingya ·

New York, 28 August. A year after the violence and desperate flight of hundreds of thousands of individuals, the United Nations--after thorough investigation--has eliminated any remaining doubt. What the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority endured in August 2017 amounted to genocide.

This assertion was made in a report of the UN Human Rights Council, who, in no uncertain terms, has accused generals in the Southeast Asian country’s army of unprecedented violence and abuse, and called for their prosecution in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Myanmar is not among those who signed the Rome Statute and, therefore, is not under the ICC’s jurisdiction; however, representatives are evaluating whether or not they can still delve deeper into the atrocities that the military inflicted in Rakhine, the state in which the Rohingya live.

The UN’s condemnation is clear-cut and spares neither the Minister for Foreign Affairs nor the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The UN’s independent fact-finding mission’s report claims that Suu Kyi had “not used her de facto position as head of government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events in Rakhine” against the Rohingya. The UN has cited the Rohingya as one of the most persecuted ethnic minority groups in the world.

The report contains definitive proof that Myanmar’s armed forces’ actions “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law". According to the report, the military was “killing indiscriminately, gang raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages”. Soldiers used torture, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, enslavement and forced imprisonment as well. The UN mission also identified proof of mass extermination and deportation.

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