New Delhi, January 22, 2020:
An independent commission of inquiry formed by the Myanmar government has arrived into the conclusion that the government security forces had carried out war crimes but “no war crimes” against Rohingyas.
The inquiry commission stated that there were “reasonable grounds” to conclude that government security forces were among the “multiple actors” who committed the possible war crimes and serious human rights violations during the campaign.
It needs mention here that the Myanmar government had formed the inquiry commission in 2018 to investigate the allegations of human rights violations and related issues levelled by the UN, following the terrorist attacks in 2017 by a Rohingya insurgent group called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Over 730,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled the state to neighboring India and Bangladesh. The crackdown carried out by the Myanmar government was condemned internationally. Reports of gruesome rapes and murders had surfaced during the week-long crackdown.
The United Nations also said that mass rapes and murders were carried out “with genocidal intent.” Hundreds of villages and thousands of homes were also burned to the ground during the crackdown. However, the inquiry commission viewed that there were no evidences of rape. Interestingly, the findings on sexual violence were detailed in just four sentences in stark contrast to the conclusions of a recent UN fact-finding mission.
The UN had earlier found that the soldiers routinely and systematically employed rape, gang rape and other violent and forced sexual acts against women, girls, boys, men and transgender people. It had described such violence as a blatant violation of international human rights law.
The inquiry commission also stated, “There is insufficient evidence to argue, much less conclude, that the crimes committed were undertaken with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, or with any other requisite mental state for the international crime of genocide.”
It needs mention here that a decision of the UN International Court of Justice is anticipated soon as Gambia had brought the Rohingya case, accusing Myanmar of genocide. It had taken the matter to the ICJ on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
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