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Buddhists kill 6,700 Rohingya Muslims in one month

28th Dec 2017
Buddhists kill 6,700 Rohingya Muslims in one month

UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, says future court may find the military campaign against the Rohingya people amounted to genocide (Photo: Creative Commons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

An estimated 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, 730 of whom children under the age of 5, were killed by Buddhist mobs in Rakhine State, western Myanmar between August 25 and September 24, according to by Doctors Without Borders aka Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

The MSF figures released by the global NGO on December 14 coincide with reports by UN officials that Myanmar’s defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi could face Rohingya genocide charges.

The MSF report concluded that more than 647,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar into Bangladesh since August 25. The refugees are fleeing a military operation that has seen security forces and Buddhist mobs kill men, women and children, loot homes, rape women and torch Rohingya villages.

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, says he would not be surprised if a future court found the military campaign against the Rohingya people amounted to genocide.

The UN has described the deaths and displacement of the Rohingya people as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

Earlier this month the human rights chief called for a criminal investigation. But now Zeid says he cannot rule out the possibility of military and government leaders facing charges of genocide.
“The gravity and the scale would suggest a commission of a crime that requires a response by the international community,” he told the BBC.

“The question of intentionality going back to the genocidal acts … it’s very hard to establish that because the thresholds are high. And that’s why we continue to say that a court has to do this. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if a court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we’re seeing. Because of the organisation and planning that seems to have gone into this. We can infer that from the actions on the ground.”

MSF Medical Director, Dr Sidney Wong, said: “We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who are now sheltering in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh. What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured.”

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