There can be no justice until Myanmar admits to their crimes
The recent testimony of two ex-soldiers from the Myanmar Army portray a grim and horrifying picture of the dehumanizing violence that the Rohingya population have been subject to in their home state of Rakhine.
They confessed to killing up to 180 men, women, and children, having been told to “shoot all that you see and hear,” wiping out entire villages in the process. One of the soldiers even admitted to rape.
These gruesome accounts corroborate witness accounts of the Rohingya themselves, in addition to the atrocities documented by UN investigators and other rights groups, painting a picture of the undeniable cruelty that forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to seek refuge within the borders of Bangladesh.
This also highlights the fact that what occurred in Rakhine was nothing short of ethnic cleansing, with soldiers providing the names and ranks of 17 other soldiers, including six senior commanders who had ordered them to “exterminate” the Rohingya.
Myanmar has continuously denied the human rights violations that their army has carried out against the Rohingya, also denying the Rohingya any modicum of justice in the process. However, these confessions -- which provide the most detailed account of the violence carried out -- provide an opportunity to prove, once and for all, that the Myanmar Army had committed acts of ethnic cleansing.
With the International Criminal Court investigating these crimes and Myanmar facing charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice, it is imperative that these confessions are investigated and taken into account.
We hope that this paves the path, finally, towards justice for the Rohingya. After all, there can be no justice until Myanmar admits to their crimes, the perpetrators are brought to book, and the Rohingya are able to return to their homeland of Rakhine as full-fledged citizens.