Dhaka – A UN fact finding mission on Rohingya persecution has suggested investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s top military leadership for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar military launched a military crackdown on the ethnic minority group a year ago.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed during the clampdown that began on August 25, 2017 with many survivors crossed the border with allegations of rape, torture and arson attacks on their homes. The UN at that time called the crackdown “an example of ethnic cleansing.
The fact-finding mission revealed that the Myanmar military carried out mass killing and gang rapes of Rohingya women. The intention was genocide. The mission also castigated the civilian government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar saying that the administration of Aung San Suu Kyi allowed hate speech to thrive.
The government also helped destroy the evidence and failed to protect the minority group from the crimes, added the fact-finding mission which launched its reports on Monday, the first anniversary of the crackdown.
The mission also called the Security Council to set up an ad hoc tribunal to prosecute the suspects, including the commander in chief in Myanmar Min Aung Hlaing, or refer them to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
An arms embargo on Myanmar and targeted individual sanctions were also suggested by the mission. The proposed sanctions included travel bans, asset freeze for those who appear most responsible for the crimes under international law.
The mission was set up by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017. The three-man mission gathered information and evidence on the persecution on the Rohingya Muslims that included satellite images, research, analysis and other documents to prepare the report during the last nine months.