Soldiers’ confession: Myanmar can’t deny the liability of Rohingya massacre
Recently four soldiers of Myanmar's military have confessed their involvement in the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state. New video footage has been found after those two soldiers' statements were revealed in the international media. The footage shows four soldiers, including the previous two, describing the Rohingya massacre. "Myanmar's military officials used to say that all ethnic groups in the country were slaves," one of them told in the confession testimony.
This is the first time we've heard of such genocide from someone in their military. It is clear from their words that the Myanmar army launched the operation with the aim of eradicating the Rohingyas. This is very important in the judicial process. According to media reports, two of the four soldiers are in the custody of the Hague Criminal Court. The other two will also testify in court. These soldiers can be important witnesses against the genocide, according to human rights activists.
More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape what the military called a clearance crackdown following a so-called attack by an armed group in Rakhine state. Myanmar's government has denied accusations that security forces committed mass rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes. Media report revealed that two new army members will also testify at the International Criminal Court (ICC). They came to the highlight with much shocking information while giving confessional statements of genocide conducted by the Myanmar army. They gave details of the brutal torture and killing of Rohingyas.
One of the soldiers said, "The army has carried out horrific oppression on the Rohingya people. There is racial discrimination among the forces. Many officers are drug-addicted. They also have drug patronage". Another soldier said, the Myanmar army officers told us that everyone from different ethnic groups was a "slave", so they have to be treated like that. The army has used weapons like terrorist forces to torture civilians.
The Arakan Army, a separatist group in Rakhine, recorded the confessional video of the four Myanmar army members. The former soldiers' confession has put new pressure on Myanmar in the international arena; especially the position of the country's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has been further questioned. Because, in the case filed by the Gambia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the apex court of the United Nations, she appeared in person and spoke on behalf of her country, denying all the allegations of "Rohingya genocide". For this reason, many have called for a trial against Myanmar by taking into account the first confession of the Rohingya genocide.
But what it has been observed a few months ago of the event, international news agency Reuters unveiled an interesting but fact finding surprising news that Myanmar granted early release to seven soldiers who were jailed for the killing of 10(ten) Rohingya Muslim men and boys during a 2017 military crackdown in the western state of Rakhine. The release information was confirmed to Reuters by two prison officials, two former fellow inmates and one of the soldiers.
They were the only peoples to have been convicted for the 2017 crackdown on Rohingya in the western Rakhine State and it was a sample of thousands genocide happened. The journalists who exposed the massacre were also sentenced to seven years in prison for their reporting. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were granted a presidential amnesty in May 6, 2019 after serving 16 months in prison.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the military's commander in chief, informed the UN Security Council in April 2018 that we had taken action against every case we could investigate. The army chief cited the Inn Din case specifically. "The latest crime we punished was a killing, and ten years' imprisonment was given to seven perpetrators and we will not forgive anyone if they commit a crime." But it was clear from the release of the convicted seven soldiers and the above statement of the army chief that it was eyewash to the international community. They have to mislead the world in the name of soldiers' punishment but now it has clearly proved as eyewash.
The Myanmar state army termed the Rohingya community as Bengalee from the very beginning and they are opposing the citizenship of Rohingyas. The 117 page book published by Myanmar army contained fraudulent snapshot was a pre-planned propaganda against Rohingyas and not to back them in Rakhane anyway. Bangladesh government has already ruled out such propaganda from time to time. Recently the Myanmar government erased the name of the Rohingya village of Kan Kya from official maps three years after its military burned the village to the ground and bulldozed over its remains, according to the United Nations.
Myanmar Army Chief Min Aung Hliang was the man who denied the citizenship of Rohinga community from the very beginning of crackdown drive. Amnesty International blamed him as a prime mentor, planner and perpetrator of the offence held in Rakhine that recognised by the UN Human Rights Council as called 'ethnic cleaning of textbook example'. In a true sense, the man and his subordinate forces incited the state military personnel and extreme Buddhist and also spreaded racism terming Rohingyas as 'Bangalee'. Myanmar state army's racism attitude is main bar of citizenship guarantee of the Rohingya community.
Myanmar authorities are spreading hate and misinformation from the very beginning and misleading the world community whimsically. The Myanmar army and their associated so-called extreme Buddhist have used the social media facebook as a strong platform to incite and instigate the mob to oust the Rohingyas forcefully and tortured them heinously in various ways that terms the international community as ethnic cleaning in Myanmar.
Suu Kyi became the first national leader to answer directly before the court of Hague while genocide was still alleged to be unfolding. She is also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize to be called to account for grisly crimes such as rape, murder, the burning of babies and the large-scale removal of an ethnic group. There were fallen from grace, and then there was Suu Kyi. In 2015 her election to the post of state counsellor was hailed as a sea-change moment for Myanmar.
It is to be mentioned here that European Union has earlier imposed sanction on top seven army officials of Myanmar who were deployed in Rakhane state during the crackdown drive against Rohingya community. Canada and USA have also imposed same restrictions. Meanwhile, Myanmar government has also sacked a Major General in that time and the army commander in Rakhane state and another Lieutenant General had resigned from job. Myanmar army denied the allegation of widespread crimes several times but both of the sack and resign indirectly endorsed the crimes held in Rakhine against Rohingyas.
The Myanmar authority is swindling with Bangladesh and it has to be believed that Suu Kyi along with the Military Junta has done everything to completely eradicate Rohingyas from Myanmar. So, Myanmar Government, so called democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi and army can't deny the accusations of rape, torture, arsonning and massacre in Rakhine. International community should bring the perpetrators to book and ensure Rohingyas' rights.
The writer is a banker &