Genocide ongoing in Myanmar, says UN investigator

Marzuki Darusman, chair of UN's fact-finding mission in Myanmar, urges international community to act

Genocide ongoing in Myanmar, says UN investigator

Atrocities tantamount to genocide against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority continue to take place, the chair of the UN's fact-finding mission in that country said Wednesday. 

Marzuki Darusman told reporters at the UN's New York headquarters that Myanmar officials are destined to continue cycles of violence against the Rohingya unless there is an end to impunity for the violence.

As many as 400,000 Rohingya who have not already fled the country continue to face "the most severe" part of the ongoing crackdown, Darusman said. 

"This is an ongoing genocide," he said, while calling on the international community to act to stop the abuses.

Also addressing reporters, UN special investigator Yanghee Lee said despite hopes State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi would usher in a new era for Myanmar, the situation "is really not that much different from the past.” 

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report issued by the Ontario International Development Agency.

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.