The U.N. Human Rights office has said that Myanmar’s security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burned their villages since October last year in a campaign that probably amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly “ethnic cleansing”,
The report said the vast majority of 204 witnesses individually interviewed by U.N. Had testified to “the killing of babies, toddlers, children, women and elderly; opening fire at people fleeing; burning of entire villages; massive detention; massive and systematic rape and sexual violence; deliberate destruction of food and sources of food”.
One woman told U.N. Investigators how her eight-month baby boy had had his throat slit.
Another was raped by soldiers and saw her five-year-old daughter killed as she tried to stop them.
U.N. Human Rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told journalists during a news briefing in Geneva “the devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable,”
Besides gathering testimonies, the investigators also documented the alleged crimes by taking photographs of bullet and knife wounds, burns, and injuries resulting from beatings with rifle butts or bamboo sticks.
The U.N. Human Rights office called on the international community for a strong reaction, and said Myanmar must accept responsibility for committing grave human rights violations against its own people.
Around 69,000 people have fled from the Muslim-majority northern part of Rakhine State to Bangladesh since Myanmar’s military launched a security operation in response to attacks on police border posts last October.