The long-existing Rohingya crisis have been struck in the mystery of finding the actual reason of causing destruction in the villages of the ethnic group and their displacement. However, the latest investigation by the United States government revealed that Myanmar military organized a “well-planned and coordinated” campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities against the ethnic minority in the Southeast Asian nation.
However, it stopped short of defining the Rohingya atrocities as “genocide” or “crimes against humanity. ”The State Department probe was released on Monday, and was based on the interviews of more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. According to the Reuters, the U.S. officials said that it could be used to justify further U.S. sanctions, or other disciplinary measures against Myanmar authorities.
The plight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim minority is deemed as the fastest growing refugee crisis, across the world. Over 700,000 members risked their life to flee the destruction and persecution in Burma, Myanmar. Around 288 Rohingya villages were destroyed and the masses started seeking shelter in Cox’s Bazaar of Bangladesh. According to the United Nations investigators, nearly 10,000 Rohingya were killed in the atrocities.
The report of the State Department underlines both the dreadful scale of violence, as well as the chief role of Myanmar’s military in leading it. According to it, 84 per cent of the refugee interviewees reported of witnessing a military-executed killing or injury, whereas 40 per cent witnessed a security forces committing a rape.
The report summary says, “The survey reveals that the recent violence in northern Rakhine State was extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the population and driving out the Rohingya residents.”
It adds, “In some areas, perpetrators used tactics that resulted in mass casualties, for example, locking people in houses to burn them, fencing off entire villages before shooting into the crowd, or sinking boats full of hundreds of fleeing Rohingya.”
The 20-page report could trigger calls for the US to adopt a more punitive measures against Myanmar, which had already sanctioned one general, two military units, as well as four commanders of that country.
The Monday report steered clear of the terms like “genocide” or “crimes against humanity,”which could have legal implications committing the U.S. to tougher measures.However, one of the officials said that it was up to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make a “legal” determination that the atrocities amount to genocide.
Previously, the crackdown has been labelled as “ethnic cleansing,” by the United States, and it is being considered that the report is supporting the similar conclusion.
While the US is yet to make such a label for the violations, it announced to double the humanitarian aid for the Myanmar crisis, on Monday. The government will be allocating an additional $185 million to the displaced Rohingya minorities.