Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

UNOCHA/Vincent Tremeau The two children of Nomtaz Begum, 30, a refugee from Myanmar who is now in Bangladesh, were killed in front of her. (March 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Myanmar’s military commanders must answer charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in a credible court, a United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) said on Tuesday, urging the international community to cut off all financial and other support to them.

Myanmar has not done enough to resolve the nation’s internal-conflicts or protect human rights, including those of over a million ethnic Rohingya civilians who have been forced into exile, according to FFM Chairperson Marzuki Darusman.

“There has been no movement toward a resolution of the crisis”, Mr. Darusman said after a 10-day visit to Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. “The situation is at a total standstill.”

The FFM documented in its 444-page report to the Human Rights Council in September how Myanmar’s military brutally and systemically violated the human rights of ethnic minorities throughout the country.

It spotlighted the military’s so-called “clearance operations” in 2017, when security forces killed thousands of Rohingya civilians, raped and sexually abused women and girls and burned villages in Rakhine State in an explosion of violence that caused more than 700,000 people to flee across the border into Bangladesh, in just two months.

Moreover, Myanmar authorities have levelled abandoned Rohingya villages with bulldozers, effectively destroying criminal evidence, while making no substantive progress in resolving the ethnic animosities that have helped fuel the crisis.

For their part, the Government denies the facts and disclaim any responsibility for crimes under international law.

Rights abuses flourish

The report also condemns ethnic armed organizations within Myanmar, for committing human rights abuses and violating international humanitarian law.

The FFM visited Kutupalong Camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, where Mr. Darusman told the refugees that when its mandate expires in September, it would hand over its evidence to the new Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar to expedite fair criminal proceedings against the perpetrators.

“In short, this is not the end of the story,” he told them. “Please have hope that this will lead to eventual accountability of those who are responsible for what took place against the Rohingya community.”

Against the backdrop that the conduct of national security forces in Rakhine State “were the result of structural problems fuelled by the absence of a political and legal system that is willing to accommodate diversity”, Mr. Darusman said: “Any solutions should directly address the structural problems.”

He also advised the Government to “focus on the real betterment of the remaining Rohingya community in Myanmar” where many live in fear of security forces.

Since 3 May, the FFM Experts have met with different ethnic communities, where they have found that the Tatmadaw, or Myanmar military, has “committed similar atrocities” against other ethnic groups within the country’s borders.

Acknowledging human rights violations, holding people accountable and reforming the Tatmadaw is “the only way forward,” according to FFM member Radhika Coomaraswamy who said that “the repatriation of refugees remains remote unless and until the Myanmar Government takes concrete measures to provide conditions that are conducive for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return, including full and equal inclusion in Myanmar society”.

However team member Christopher Sidoti emphasized that the FFM “has seen no evidence” that the Government is acting in good faith, saying: “The situation demands an increase in international pressure”.

The Independent Investigative Mechanism is not the only body laying the ground for future prosecution. The International Criminal Court is conducting its own examination and discussions are also taking place about the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under the Genocide Convention. The FFM has also called on national courts to exercise jurisdiction and prosecute alleged perpetrators.

Link camp closures to ‘improvements in freedom’

Meanwhile, after a six-day mission to Myanmar, UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller underscored the need for sustained humanitarian assistance and protection for the country’s vulnerable, crisis-affected people.

Noting the Government’s work in developing a national plan to find solutions for the more than 270,000 internally displaced people across Myanmar, she emphasized: “It is critical that the strategy be implemented in a way that addresses the root causes of displacement”.

“The closure of camps must be linked to improvements in freedom of movement and access to services and job opportunities”, she spelled out, calling on the authorities to work with all partners and the affected people themselves to find durable solutions that protect the rights of displaced people to voluntarily return home in safety and in dignity or to resettle some other place of their choosing.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU budget: Stepping up the EU’s role as a security and defence provider

1st Exclusive High Level Dialogue: China-EU Cybersecurity and 5G Cooperation

Gaza probe finds ‘reasonable grounds’ Israeli forces committed international human rights violations

From mental health to suicide: the interruption of this chain reaction by prevention

A day in the life of a refugee: why should we care?

This is how climate science went mainstream

Resettlement needs set to rise to 1.4 million people in 2019, UN refugee agency reports

Could 2021 be a turning point for forests and climate change?

Why support for Latin America’s early tech hubs is vital for the region

Commission to decide on bank resolution issues

Azeri natural gas will keep the EU warm soon

European Commission welcomes political agreement on new €14.2 billion Pre-Accession Assistance Instrument (IPA III)

Heard about deepfakes? Don’t panic. Prepare

Health should be central to the conversation around climate change

Metrics of the Sustainable Developments Goals: Can we trust our data?

Smart cities are great but we also need smart villages

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Changing the Face of Europe

Work can be better post-COVID-19. Here’s what employers need to know

Minding the information gap and why it’s important in tackling COVID-19

State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie; has to recover around €120 million

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: third annual report shows continued vital and tangible support for refugees and their host communities

We need to rethink the way we heat ourselves. Here’s why

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

Croatian Presidency priorities discussed in the European Parliament

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

Iraq: UN demining agency rejects desecration accusations, involving historic Mosul churches

Companies need innovation more than ever. Here’s how to measure it

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

Window for a Brexit deal: Brussels to think again May’s proposal

Why Opportunity Zones could be key to transforming our cities

Catalonia’s vote for independence and the power of symbols

Next time you fly, could you be boarding a train instead of a plane?

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

This is the hidden connection between smuggling and climate change

Shaping the future of democracy in Armenia

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

New phenomena in the EU labour market

How COVID-19 is throttling vital migration flows

Scientists are growing meat on blades of grass

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

3 ways Africa can improve the health of women and children

Antitrust: Commission opens formal investigation into possible anticompetitive conduct of Teva in relation to a blockbuster multiple sclerosis medicine

Mergers: Commission approves the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and Peugeot S.A., subject to conditions

European Commission Joint Research Centre opens world-class laboratories to researchers

Lithuania should find its own way in the EU

Thursday’s Daily Brief: dire living conditions in Idlib, migrants at US southern border, end in sight for trachoma, Human Rights Council

Cash for babies: How Europe is tackling its falling birthrate

3 projects that show we can deliver on the pledge to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

Multiprofessional action against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics

Commission hardens its stance against carmakers ensuring emissions reductions targets

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

Boosting the EU’s Green Recovery: EU invests over €2 billion in 140 key transport projects to jump-start the economy

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

COVID-19: MEPs extend relief measures for the transport sector

More, not less, multilateralism is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic

‘Hateful attacks’ pushing Sri Lanka backwards, UN advisers warn, urging an end to ‘discriminatory practices’ that feed intolerance

Want to cut greenhouse gas emissions? Look to digital technologies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: