Tuesday, May 21, 2024
 
 

Myanmar panel finds war crimes but no genocide in Rohingya crackdown

EPA-EFE/LYNN BO BO
A Rohingya woman carries her child as she arrives to the Shwe Hmaw Won community hall at the KyaukTan township, south of Yangon, Myanmar, 16 November 2018. More than a hundred Rohingyas, including children and women believed to have fled the state of Rakhine, have been arrested on a shore in KyaykTan township about 100 kilometers from downtown Yangon.

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A commission investigating Myanmar’s 2017 crackdown on its Rohingya Muslim minority, has concluded that there were probably war crimes but there was no genocide. The panel was appointed by Myanmar’s government.
In the next few days the International Court of Justice in the Hague is expected to rule on whether “emergency measures” should be taken against Myanmar. The country’s leader, Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has been defending Myanmar at the court against a genocide complaint.
The country denounces claims that it tried to exterminate the minority in the bloody crackdown by its military, during which some 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee into camps in Bangladesh. Suu Kyi said that Myanmar was defending itself against attacks by militants.
The Independent Commission of Enquiry that investigated the crackdown, has concluded that while some soldiers probably committed war crimes, there was no genocide. It, however, said that security forces had committed “serious human rights violations”, including the “killing of innocent villagers and destruction of their homes”.
“There is insufficient evidence to argue, much less conclude, that the crimes committed were undertaken with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”, the ICOE said in its report.
The published results sparked anger: “All signs point to what human rights experts and Rohingya themselves already know, which is that the government has no intention of bringing perpetrators of mass rape and other genocidal crimes to justice”, a law expert said.
“It is simply another attempt by the Myanmar authorities to sweep the Rohingya genocide under the carpet”, an analyst warned.
The commission said it would hand over its report to be used for investigations and possible prosecutions by the country’s authorities.

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