UN calls for tribunal for Burma’s ‘ongoing’ genocide of Rohingya
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UN calls for tribunal for Burma’s ‘ongoing’ genocide of Rohingya

UN Investigators on Wednesday said Burmese (Myanmar) security forces were still committing genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minorities, despite drawing international condemnation since the alleged atrocities began last year.

Calling for an international tribunal, the UN investigators presented its 444-page report on the crisis to the security council, saying the acts of genocide were “ongoing”.

According to the AFP, Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Burma, said apart from mass killings, the crisis involved ostracisation of the population, birth prevention, and mass displacement in camps.

SEE ALSO: Singapore, Thailand to push Burma on ‘safe return’ of Rohingya 

“It is an ongoing genocide,” he said during a press conference after presenting the report.

“We consider the genocide intent can be reasonably inferred.”

Darusman said some 10,000 Rohingya have been killed since the government’s crackdown on insurgents began in August last year, adding 390 villages were destroyed.

The conflict has also seen about 700,000 Rohingya flee to refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh and thousands more escaping to other Southeast Asian countries.

“The conditions are not in place for a safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh,” he said.

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Rohingya refugees shout slogans during a protest march after attending a ceremony to remember the first anniversary of a military crackdown that prompted a massive exodus of people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on Aug 25, 2018. Source: AFP

The UN report called on the council to raise the crisis at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, and to create a tribunal similar to the one held with the former Yugoslavia.

The fact-finding mission by the UN found evidence of ethnic cleansing and accused Burma’s military of genocide.

The final report 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.

SEE ALSO: Asean ministers raise heat on Burma’s Rohingya crisis 

Earlier this week, the Australian government imposed sanctions and travel bans on the five Burmese generals said to be responsible for atrocities.

In September, 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.

Shortly after, Canada’s parliament also unanimously voted to declare Burma’s military actions against the minority Rohingya an act of “genocide”.