Myanmar soldiers' brutal sexual violence

A UN report found Myanmar's military has carried out widespread and severe sexual violence.
A UN report found Myanmar's military has carried out widespread and severe sexual violence.

Sexual violence carried out by Myanmar's security forces against the country's Muslim Rohingya minority was so widespread and severe it demonstrates intent to commit genocide, a UN report says.

The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar found the level of violence warrants prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The mission found the country's soldiers "routinely and systematically employed rape, gang rape and other violent and forced sexual acts against women, girls, boys, men and transgender people in blatant violation of international human rights law".

Its report on sexual and gender-based violence in Myanmar, released on Thursday, covers the Kachin and Shan ethnic minorities in northern Myanmar as well as the Rohingya in the western state of Rakhine.

The report, released in New York, charges that the genocidal intent of Myanmar's military toward the Rohingya was demonstrated "by means of killing female members of the Rohingya community, causing Rohingya women and girls serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting on the Rohingya women and girls conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of the Rohingya in whole or in part, and imposing measures that prevented births within the group".

Many human rights groups have accused Myanmar of carrying out genocide or ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

In an earlier report, the UN mission documented other major abuses in Rakhine since 2016, including widespread killings and torching of villages, and found that similar abuses were carried out in Kachin and Shan states.

Australian Associated Press