Two news organizations and a rights group reported on Tuesday that two Myanmar soldiers have confessed to murdering minority Rohingya Muslims and are being transported to The Hague in the Netherlands. In their video testimony, Pvt. Myo Win Tun and Pvt. Zaw Naing Tun stated their commanding officers ordered the soldiers to massacre Rohingya Muslims in 2017.
The soldiers claimed they buried the victims’ bodies in mass graves. According to the New York Times, multiple villagers have since confirmed the locations of the mass graves. The Myanmar government has denied any allegations that they committed any crimes against the Rohingya and the existence of the graves.
The United Nations Human Rights Council published a report in 2019 revealing its mission to uncover “genocidal actions that may occur or recur” and stated that “Myanmar is failing in its obligation to prevent genocide.” The International Criminal Court (ICC) is also investigating persecution and other inhumane acts committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
Reports state that the two men were placed in the ICC’s custody, based in The Hague, on Monday. It remains unclear whether the soldiers will appear as witnesses or be tried, and the ICC Prosecutor’s Office has refused to comment on any of its ongoing investigations publicly. However, a spokesman for the ICC, Fadi el Abdallah, has clarified that “we don’t have these persons in the ICC custody.”