UN investigators on Tuesday renewed their call [press release] for charges against Myanmar military officials who allegedly committed genocide against the nation’s minority Rohingya population in the past year.
The UN Office of Human Rights published an exhaustive list of atrocities [report, DOC] and called “for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and his top military leaders for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”
Since last August 700,000 Rohinga refugees have fled into neighboring Bangladesh and have spoken [NYT report] of the Myanmar military’s crackdown on their villages, alleging several crimes against humanity.
The UN has conducted several investigations into Myanmar war crimes over the past few years. In August, the government officially rejected [press release] these allegations, although investigators have maintained their pressure for transparency and justice.
While isolated incidents have been alleged in the past, these new investigations are the first time the UN refers to the ethnic conflict in Myanmar as a possible genocide [UN materials].
The conflict between the stateless Muslim Rohingya population and the native Buddhist population has been raging since 1942, and more than 6,500 civilians are alleged to have been killed in war crimes since the new phase of the conflict began in 2012. A 2017 UN report [PDF] outlined the specific atrocities, but this is the first time the UN is calling for the arrest of responsible parties.