UN agency: Myanmar officials should be prosecuted for Rohingya genocide

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The United Nations’ human rights agency on Monday characterized Myanmar’s treatment of its ethnic-Rohingya Muslim population as a genocide and called for the prosecution of the country’s top military officials.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.N. agency said the events “are similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocidal intent to be established in other contexts.”

Additionally, the U.N. investigators found a “level of organization indicating a plan for destruction,” a crucial element of a genocide.

{mosads}Over the last few months, the U.N. has said that there is mounting evidence that Myanmar committed genocide against the Rohingya, but the international body had yet to label it a genocide, a term it rarely uses and one that carries legal obligations.

The U.N. agency said that the purges began a year ago, after a few Rohingya militants attacked security outposts. The agency’s investigative team said Myanmar killed approximately 10,000 people, an estimate the U.N. called “conservative.”

Seven hundred thousand Rohingya fled across the border to neighboring Bangladesh.

The agency’s investigative team arrived at its conclusion after gathering satellite images and conducting 875 interviews with witnesses of the event, which included summary executions and mass rape, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The U.N. report criticized Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, for not doing enough to stop the killings and abuse.

Suu Kyi defended the military’s actions last week, saying that forces were responding to terrorist attacks and armed insurgencies.

The U.N. agency advised that the matter be moved to the International Criminal Court or a similar tribunal.

Prosecutions may be difficult because Myanmar has refused to cooperate with the International Criminal Court last week, according to the Journal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya as an “abhorrent ethnic cleansing” Saturday and vowed to hold the perpetrators responsible.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on top Myanmar military and police commanders in response to what it called Myanmar’s “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya earlier this month.

Tags Aung San Suu Kyi Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Myanmar Rohingya Genocide Trump administration United Nations human rights agency
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