The Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) welcomes today’s determination by the United States’ Department of State that genocide has been committed against the Rohingya people.
“The US determination of the crime of genocide against us is a momentous moment and must lead to concrete action to hold the Burmese military accountable for their crimes,” said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK.
In 2018, United States investigators produced a 15,000 page investigation documenting atrocities committed in 2017 against the Rohingya, which included more than 13,000 instances of “grave human rights violations”, including gang rapes, crucifixions, mutilations, and of children being burned or drowned, and of families being locked inside homes that had been set alight.
Also in 2018 the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar published the results of its investigation, finding that the human rights violations committed against the Rohingya amounted to genocide. In 2019 the Fact-Finding Mission stated that the genocide was ongoing.
“This designation lets Rohingya know that their voices have been heard amid the cruel suffering they continue to endure,” said Tun Khin. “In Burma the Rohingya face denial of our identity, our rights and denial of the human rights violations committed against us. Rohingya faced genocide, one of the most terrible crimes imaginable, and then faced the international community not even acknowledging it had happened. Today the US has gone a long way to correcting that.”
Since the attempted military coup on 1st February 2021, the Burmese military has used deadly force across the country. Half a million people have been displaced and around 12,000 people arrested. 600,000 Rohingya remain in Burma and there are concerns that the military may once again whip up nationalist prejudice against the Rohingya in an attempt to deflect people from resistance to military rule.
“There is no doubt that being allowed to get away with genocide of the Rohingya encouraged the military to think it could get away with holding a coup as well,” said Tun Khin. “Accountability for Rohingya genocide will not just help protect the Rohingya, it will help protect all the people of Burma.”
The Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK calls for the US and other countries to follow this determination with concrete action against the military. This should include:
- Sanction Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank and other entities facilitating the flow of gas revenue to the military.
- Join the Rohingya genocide case at the International Court of Justice.
- Systematically sanction military, state-owned and private Burmese companies helping to finance the Burmese military.
- Sanction Burmese companies involved in the supply and manufacture of arms for the military.
- Sanction the supply of aviation fuel to Burma to help stop airstrikes against civilians.
- Apply pressure on countries supplying arms to the Burmese military to persuade them to stop.
- Support in principle for the referral of Burma to the International Criminal Court.
- Significantly increased aid to genocide survivors in Bangladesh and other countries, and advocate for Bangladesh to adopt long-term policies for hosting Rohingya refugees, including immediate access to education for all Rohingya children.
For more information, contact Tun Khin on +44 7888714866