0628 GMT July 21, 2019
A UN fact-finding mission into violations in Myanmar said the country’s army chief and five other senior brass should be investigated over a brutal crackdown last year that drove 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh, AFP reported.
The report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council detailed a horrifying list of atrocities against the Rohingya, including murder, enforced disappearance, torture, and sexual violence “perpetrated on a massive scale.”
Estimates that 10,000 were killed in the 2017 crackdown were “conservative,” investigators said.
Myanmar has vehemently denied the allegations, insisting it was responding to attacks by Rohingya rebels.
Community leaders for the roughly one million displaced Rohingya in southern Bangladesh welcomed calls for prosecution, but said they would judge the UN on its ability to deliver justice.
“The UN has to ensure that justice sees the light,” Rohingya community leader Abdul Gowffer told AFP by phone.
“The commanders must face an ICC trial,” he added, referring to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The investigators have called on the UN Security Council to refer the Myanmar situation to the ICC or for the creation of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal.
The Security Council has repeatedly urged Myanmar to halt military operations and to allow the Rohingya to safely return home.