International report: Sexual violence against Rohingya in Myanmar shows intent of genocide

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Rohingya women and girls in 2017 was an indication of the army’s intention to genocide to destroy the Muslim-majority ethnic minority, UN investigators found in a report released on Thursday.

The Commission of Independent Investigators, set up by the UN Human Rights Council in 2017, accused the government of Myanmar of not holding anyone accountable and said it bore responsibility “under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide for its inability to investigate and punish genocide”.

A military campaign in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which began in August 2017, forced more than 730,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. Myanmar denies widespread abuses and says the military campaign in hundreds of villages in northern Rakhine State was in response to attacks by Rohingya militants.

“Hundreds of Rohingya women and girls were raped,” the report said. Of these, 80 percent were classified by the Commission as mass rape. Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) is responsible for 82 percent of these mass rapes.”

At a news conference in Myanmar on Friday, military spokesman Major-General Tun Ton Nyi called the accusations “baseless”.

“I cannot read what they said in their report because it is not appropriate for women in a respectable society,” he said.

He said Myanmar had laws criminalizing sexual assault and that soldiers had been warned in military schools.

“If you look at these experts, don’t they know or respect our country’s law?”

The Myanmar government has refused to allow UN investigators into the country. Investigators traveled to refugee camps in Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia and met with officials from aid groups, research centers, academics and government organizations.

In a report issued in August 2018, investigators detailed five indications of the intention of the Myanmar military genocide to use derogatory terms, certain statements by government officials, politicians, religious authorities and military leaders before, during and after the violence, and the existence of discriminatory policies and plans. Evidence of a systematic destruction plan and the blatant brutality of the security campaign.

“The Commission concluded, on reasonable grounds, that sexual violence against women and girls, which began on 25 August 2017, was the sixth indication of the Myanmar army’s genocide intent to destroy the Rohingya,” said the latest report published on Thursday.

The findings were based on “widespread and systematic killing of women and girls, frequent selection of children of childbearing age for rape, amputation and genital mutilation, marking of their bodies, and abuse of pregnant women and infants,” the report added.

The report noted that none of the army commanders had been held accountable for these and other crimes under international law despite two years and noted that the government “blatantly denies its responsibility”.

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