POST TIME: 13 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 March, 2018 11:55:15 PM
Atrocities in Rakhine
Strongest actions needed against genocide: UN

Strongest actions needed 
against genocide: UN

The events in Rakhine State bear the hallmarks of genocide and called in the strongest terms for accountability, United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee told the Human Rights Council yesterday. She, who was informed late last year that her access to the country was denied, also expressed serious concern that “the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more” in Myanmar, describing the situation faced by civil society across the country as “increasingly perilous”.

Delivering her report to the Council in Geneva, according to a press release forwarded by the office of the high commissioner for human rights, Lee said that to date accountability for the crimes committed in Rakhine State following August 25, 2017, and October 9, 2016, was elusive, adding that this must now be the focus of the international community’s efforts to bring long-lasting peace, stability and democratisation to Myanmar.

“This must be aimed at the individuals who gave the orders and carried out violations against individuals and entire ethnic and religious groups,” she said.

“The Government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable,” she added.

Lee called for a thorough, impartial and credible investigation to be conducted without delay and perpetrators to be held responsible for

the alleged crimes that were committed in Rakhine State since 9 October 2016 and 25 August 2017, and for the violations that continue today.

She called for the establishment of a UN structure, based in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, for a duration of three years to investigate, document, collect, consolidate, map, and analyse evidence of human rights violations and abuses.

The Special Rapporteur added that the investigative body should maintain and prepare evidence in a master database to support and facilitate impartial, fair and independent international criminal proceedings in national or international courts or tribunals in accordance with international criminal law standards.

Additionally, she called for a comprehensive review of actions by the UN system in the lead-up to and after the reported attacks of October 2016 and 25 August 2017 regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates and within the Human Rights Up Front framework.

“The external review should assess whether the UN and international community could have prevented or managed the situation differently that occurred regarding the Rohingya and in Rakhine State, and make recommendations for accountability if appropriate,” she said.