Myanmar troops’ sexual violence against Rohingya shows ‘genocidal intent’

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Myanmar Muslims

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Myanmar Muslims"We're citizens too

A United Nations -established investigation previous year recommended the prosecution of Myanmar's top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the crackdown on the Rohingya.

In Coomaraswamy's report, the panel of independent investigators, set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2017, said the sexual violence committed by Myanmar troops against Rohingya women and girls in 2017 showed a genocidal intent to destroy the group.

Since the conflict started, Christian Aid and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have assisted the Government of Bangladesh and United Nations agencies to provide life-sustaining support to Rohingya living in the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

The report, released in NY, charges that the genocidal intent of Myanmar's military toward the Rohingya was demonstrated "by means of killing female members of the Rohingya community, causing Rohingya women and girls serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting on the Rohingya women and girls conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of the Rohingya in whole or in part, and imposing measures that prevented births within the group".

Oxfam says some 500,000 Rohingya remain in Myanmar, including nearly 130,000 confined in government-run camps and where red tape often leaves them unable to send children to school or to visit a doctor. "The Tatmadaw was responsible for 82 per cent of these gang rapes", added the report.

Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued the blame game Friday.

'We would propose now to the Myanmar government to take steps so that Rohingya leaders can inspect the measures taken by it in Rakhain, ' he added.

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The charities have urged the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to ensure that any return process be safe, voluntary and dignified, as news of the possible expedited repatriation of 3,450 Rohingya refugees circulated this week.

The first attempt for repatriation had failed on 15 November 2018 as none expressed their intent to go back to Rakhine state in Myanmar.

"Myanmar has yet to address the systematic persecution and violence against the Rohingya", Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

On Thursday, officials arranged for buses to start repatriating refugees.

The way forward is for Myanmar to recognise the Rohingya Muslims' ethnic identity, grant them citizenship and allow them to return to their original homes and lands with safety and security guarantee.

Addressing a press conference he said none of the refugees agreed to go back.

"The Rohingya crisis is a complex issue, so a repatriation plan can be sustainable if we can ensure that we are addressing root causes of the Rohingya's plight - their unmet basic rights". Such a demand is justified, considering how Myanmar has treated the victims.

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