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Myanmar: Report claims, Rohingyas are not massacred, war crimes committed, army not guilty

A government-appointed committee to investigate allegations of genocide against Rohingya Muslim minorities during 2017 in Rakhine province of Myanmar has released its investigation report. The inquiry committee found that some soldiers may have committed war crimes against minorities but the army cannot be held guilty of genocide. Rights groups and Rohingya leaders have rejected it.

The report of the inquiry committee first mentioned the military’s war crimes with the Rohingyas, but human rights groups and Rohingya leaders have completely rejected the report just before the UN top court verdict on Thursday. The U.N.’s top court will pass a judgment on whether urgent measures are needed to stop the alleged massacre that continues in Myanmar.

The investigation results of the Independent Commission of Inquiry (ICOE) are important just before the UN decision. The ICOE admitted that some security personnel used unaccountable force, committed war crimes and severely violated human rights, including killing innocent villagers and destroying their homes. However, he also said that these crimes do not fall under the category of genocide.

7.40 lakh Rohingyas left the country

According to the panel, ‘evidence is not sufficient to conclude that the crimes committed were intended to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group or part thereof.’ These military operations led to about 7.40 Lakh Rohingyas had to leave the country. Buddhist-majority Myanmar has always been saying that military action was taken against Rohingya militants because Rohingya militants killed a large number of security personnel by carrying out several attacks.

‘Reports try to divert attention’

Burmese Rohingya Organization, UK spokesman Tun Khin rejected the panel’s findings and called it an attempt to divert attention from the decision of the international tribunal. Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said that some soldiers have been sacrificed to protect the military from responsibility in the report. The investigative panel has two members local and two foreigners.

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