Report blames Myanmar army for large-scale attacks on Rohingya

September 25, 2018 | By | Reply More

A US government investigation has found that Myanmar’s military waged a planned and coordinated campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities against the nation’s Rohingya minority.

myanmarThe state department report, reviewed by news agency ahead of its expected release on Monday, could be used to justify further US sanctions against Myanmar authorities, said US officials.

But the report stopped short of describing the crackdown as genocide or crimes against humanity.

The findings were based on more than a 1,000 interviews of Rohingya men and women in refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh, where more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled after a military campaign last year in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

“The survey reveals that the recent violence in northern Rakhine state was extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the population and driving out the Rohingya residents,” said the 20-page report.

“The scope and scale of the military’s operations indicate they were well-planned and coordinated,” it added.

On August 25, 2017, Myanmar launched a military offensive – termed by the UN as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing – after a Rohingya armed group carried out attacks on border security forces.

Survivors narrated in harrowing detail what they had witnessed, including soldiers killing infants and small children, the shooting of unarmed men and victims buried alive or thrown into mass graves.

They described widespread sexual assault and rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar military, often carried out in public.

One witness described how four Rohingya girls were abducted, tied up and raped for three days. They were left heavily bleeding and “half dead”, he said, according to the report.

The state department report coincided with the United States pledging $185m in aid for Rohingya refugees.

On Monday, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced the new funding for food, water, healthcare and other critical aid during a ministerial meeting on Myanmar crisis on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

The US report comes nearly a month after a team of UN investigators issued its own report, accusing Myanmar’s military of acting with “genocidal intent” and calling for the country’s commander-in-chief and five generals to be tried by the International Criminal Court.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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