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UN report accuses Myanmar of committing genocide against Rohingya

A United Nations report has called for senior figures in Myanmar’s military to face trial for genocide committed against the Rohingya population.

The UN's Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar was set up in March 2017 and headed by Marzuki Darusman who also co-authored the 2011 report produced by a panel of experts on mass atrocities in Sri Lanka.

The report on Myanmar names six senior military figures it believes should go on trial and calls for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Though UN investigators were denied access to Myanmar they interviewed 875 witnesses who had fled the country. 

“The scale, brutality and systematic nature of these violations indicate that rape and sexual violence are part of a deliberate strategy to intimidate, terrorise or punish a civilian population, and are used as a tactic of war,” it said.

It added that the attacks were "similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocide intent to be established in other contexts".

"Military necessity would never justify killing indiscriminately, gang raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages."

The report went on to state “there is sufficient information to warrant 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.”

Aung San Suu Kyi also was named in the report as having “contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes” through “their acts and omissions”.

“Aung San Suu Kyi has not used her de facto position as head of government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events in Rakhine state,” the report stated.

Myanmar's Permanent Representative to the UN, U Hau Do Suan, told BBC Burmese that “As we did not accept the idea of a fact-finding mission from the beginning, we reject their report”.

"The human rights abuses are one-sided accusations against us. This is designed at putting pressure on us by the international organisations. Their report is based on one-sided information from the people who fled to Bangladesh and the opposition groups."

See more from the BBC here, the Guardian here and the FT here.