An independent fact-finding mission of the United Nations on Tuesday said Myanmar’s Army should be removed from politics as it released the final part of a report reiterating calls for top generals to be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, AFP reported. The country’s military occupies about a quarter of Parliament seats and has control of three ministries.
In August 2017, the Myanmar Army started a crackdown in Rakhine state in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on police posts and a military base. The Army’s actions were referred to as “ethnic cleansing” by the UN and United States. More than 7 lakh Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after the crackdown.
The UN’s 440-page report called for the military’s top leadership to be replaced and for the institution to have no influence over the country’s governance.
“During their operations the Tatmadaw [military] has systematically targeted civilians, including women and children, committed sexual violence, voiced and promoted exclusionary and discriminatory rhetoric against minorities, and established a climate of impunity for its soldiers,” said Marzuki Darusman, chair of the fact-finding mission.
The report said that the country’s civilian leadership “should further pursue the removal of the Tatmadaw [armed forces] from Myanmar’s political life”.
The UN report is based on 18 months of work and more than 875 in-depth interviews. The report also called on the international community to investigate Myanmar military’s top brass for genocide, including commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
The UN team said the military’s tactics had been “consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats”. Investigators said the Tatmadaw or the armed forces should be restructured and the process should begin by replacing the current leadership.
In August, the United Nations Human Rights Council fact-finding mission published a document which named commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Army, Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, and said he, along with five other generals, must be prosecuted for atrocities against the Rohingya. The mission said there was “genocidal intent” behind the actions of the Myanmar government.
Myanmar has consistently refuted the claims, saying the international community was making false allegations.