Sufficient evidence of Rohingya persecution to put military chiefs before International Criminal Court
October 26, 2018
United Nations investigators have called for Buddhist-majority Myanmar to be held accountable for atrocities against minority Rohingya Muslims by the world body’s Security Council.
Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the Independent International Fact‑Finding Mission on Myanmar, specifically targeted members of the Southeast Asian nation’s military for attacks spurring a mass exodus of refugees.
“There can be no moving on from this crisis without addressing its root causes, all of which still exist today — primarily the presence of an unaccountable military that acts with complete impunity,” Darusman told the Security Council when briefing its members on Oct. 24.
Not only Rohingya and many others in Myanmar but the “entire world” wanted action to be taken against those involved in abuses.
The 444-page fact-finding mission report released on Sept. 18 found that the military committed four of five acts constituting genocide.
The U.N. probe had found enough evidence to warrant the prosecution of senior military figures for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Darusman said.
The report details clearance operations of Myanmar’s military in six villages that involved massacres including the killing of women, children and the elderly, as well as gang rapes, arson and looting.
It had verified similar operations in 54 separate locations across northern Rakhine State, the center of violence against Rohingyas.
At least 392 villages were partially or wholly destroyed and more than 725,000 Rohingya had fled to Bangladesh since violence intensified last year.
An estimate of 10,000 Rohingya deaths was described in the report as a conservative figure. Unless impunity was addressed, violence and atrocities would continue to occur, Darusman warned.
He called on the UN Security Council to refer cases to the International Criminal Court or create an ad hoc international criminal tribunal as “accountability for those crimes is unattainable domestically in Myanmar.” Darusman’s Security Council briefing was approved to proceed by nine votes in favor and three against with three abstentions.
China, Myanmar’s neighbor and ally, as well as Russia, both opposed the Security Council briefing taking place.
Hau Do Suan, Myanmar’s representative to the U.N., said the report was “flawed, biased and politically motivated from its genesis” and had only briefly mentioned atrocities committed by Muslim militants of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army against Myanmar security personnel.