A Rohingya refugee carries bricks to rebuild his makeshift house, in preparation for the approaching monsoon season at the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh. Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar during a brutal crackdown now face a new danger: rain. The annual monsoon will soon sweep through camps where some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims live in huts made of bamboo and plastic built along steep hills. AP Photo/A.M. Ahad
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Deputy Chairperson of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Agency at the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Rofi Munawar has urged the Myanmar Government to carry out recommendations from the United Nations (UN) fact-finding team regarding the tragedy in Rakhine State over Rohingya ethnicity. He also encouraged the UN and ASEAN to respond to these findings as a basis for bringing criminals to the court.
“Reports from the independent UN team should be followed up by the international community to pressure the Myanmar Government regarding crimes against humanity committed over the Rohingyas,” Munawar said in a statement, via a short message service received by Antara, here on Monday.
Normatively, the UN Charter, especially in Chapters VI and VII, obliges its member states to carry out humanitarian interventions if a group is being threatened by genocide, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing (the Responsibility to Protect). The findings showed that the incidents over the Rohingyas in Myanmar have fulfilled those conditions.
“The Indonesian Government, both through ASEAN and the United Nations, can put pressure on the Myanmar Government to urge the criminals who are involved in the Rohingya issue to step down and be tried in the International Criminal Court,” he noted.
According to him, as a first step, the international community can urge Myanmar military officials to resign from their positions because they had committed humanitarian violations. Ethnic cleansing is a very serious violation of law. Some of the criminals who have been tried by the ICC are Slobodan Milosevic from Yugoslavia and Slobodan Praljak from Bosnia.
“Indonesia, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, which began to take office in 2019, should also be able to play a greater role in overcoming crimes against humanity over Rohingya ethnic groups,” the legislator from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction stated.
However, the Myanmar Government rejected the report which was provided by a joint UN fact-finding team. The report stated that there were six generals responsible for genocide and human rights violations against Rohingya ethnicity in the country.
The Myanmar Government stated that this report was unilateral and was aimed at suppressing the country. The Myanmar Government confirmed that the operation was aimed at facing the threat of rebellion and seeking militant targets.
The report by an independent UN team released on Monday (Aug 27) stated that the six generals in question were the Commander of Tatmadaw, General Min Aung Hlaing; Deputy Commander General Soe Win; and Commander of the Special Operations Bureau 3, Lieutenant General Aung Kyaw Zaw.
The independent investigation team also named the West Regional Military Command Commander, Maj. Gen. Maung Maung Soe; the Commander of the 33rd Infantry Division, Brigadier General Aung-Aung; and the Commander of the 99th Infantry Division, Brigadier General Than Oo.
The UN joint team also recommended General Min Aung Hlaing to resign from his position. The report also stated that Myanmar’s military tactics were unfair compared to the threats they faced.
This could be seen from the harsh treatment they applied over Rohingya minorities. The joint UN team, chaired by Marzuki Darusman, also criticized Aung San Suu Kyi who did not use her “de facto” position as the head of government to prevent the incidents in Rakhine.
Therefore, this team also recommends filing this humanitarian violation case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to bring the perpetrators to the court. A more comprehensive report will be provided by the team on Sept 18, 2018.