MALAYSIA has joined the list of countries seeking the international prosecution of Burma’s (Myanmar) military commanders for the alleged atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslim minorities.
Calling for the United Nations Security Council to establish an international judicial mechanism to try those responsible for the crimes, Malaysia’s foreign ministry said Burma’s government had the responsibility to act against the perpetrators.
“All of us should, therefore, use our leverage to urge Myanmar’s Independent Commission on Enquiry on Rakhine State to bring all perpetrators of gross human rights violations to justice,” Foreign Ministry multilateral affairs deputy secretary-general Kennedy Jawan told national news agency Bernama.
“Malaysia has also put forth that an international judicial mechanism should take effect in the event the efforts of the Myanmar authorities to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators are deemed insufficient,” he said.
Jawan said the crisis faced by the Rohingyas needed urgent attention and a long-term solution was required to determine their future.
“To that end, the international community cannot, and should not, stand idle as we witness the human catastrophe which has besieged the Rohingya, unfolding before our very own eyes,” he said.
Malaysia’s formidable PM Mahathir (@chedetofficial) surprises @CFR_org audience by backing #R2P for #Rohingya: “If in Malaysia we massacre all the Chinese & Indians, I think you have the right to move in.”
— Jeffrey Laurenti (@J_Laurenti) September 26, 2018
Jawan said there has not been any improvement in Myanmar, despite advice and recommendations from the international community.
“Instead, we still see an influx of Rohingya leaving Myanmar, dragging along with them their meagre remnants of what is left of their homes in Myanmar,” he said, adding Malaysia will continue asking for international support for Bangladesh, where almost 700,000 Rohingya are taking refuge.
Earlier this week, the US State Department said Burma conducted a “well-planned and coordinated” campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities against the minority group.
The department’s report could be used to impose sanctions or take other punitive measures against the Southeast Asian country.
Last Thursday, Canada’s parliament unanimously voted to declare Burma’s military actions against the minority Rohingya an act of “genocide”.
Canada’s lower house endorsed the findings of a UN fact-finding mission on Burma that found “crimes against humanity have been committed against the Rohingya” and that the acts took place under orders from military commanders.
They also urged the international community to investigate and prosecute Burma’s generals for “the crime of genocide”.
A fact-finding mission by the UN found evidence of ethnic cleansing and accused Burma’s military of genocide. The final report, released earlier this month, documented patterns of gross human rights violations and abuses that included killing indiscriminately, gang-raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages.
The UN investigators called for Burma’s army general Min Aung Hlaing and five generals to be prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity, among others.
The military has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has remained largely silent on the atrocities.