The UN Fact Finding Mission’s conclusions on human rights violations in Burma since 2011, in particular the truly horrific violence from August last year in Rakhine, come as no surprise.
Anyone like myself who has been engaged directly in this terrible crisis, or has spoken to Rohingya refugees, knows the Burmese military is primarily to blame for such appalling human rights violations as the widespread rape and murder of the Rohingya people.
The Fact Finding Mission provides yet more damning evidence of their culpability.
There cannot and must not be impunity for such acts, which the Mission has concluded warrants “the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw chain of command, so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine State”.
We commend the Fact Finding Mission for their work and look forward to seeing the full report. We believe the gravity of the report warrants the attention of both the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council.
We will discuss options for bringing the report before the Security Council with other members once the Fact Finding Mission have made their final presentation to the Human Rights Council in September.
There also remains an urgent need for domestic acceptance and accountability in Burma.
It is now essential the Burmese government sets out how its Commission of Inquiry will be able to investigate these crimes with full impartiality and how it will be linked to a judicial process to hold those responsible to account.