– Myanmar’s “systematic” crackdown on the Rohingya has been designed to permanently eliminate the minority Muslim community from their home in Rakhine state, the United Nations said Wednesday.
“Brutal attacks against Rohingya in northern Rakhine State have been well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving the population out of Myanmar but preventing them from returning to their homes,” a UN investigation found.
The probe is based on interviews with people who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since attacks by militants on Myanmar’s security forces in Rakhine on August 25, which sparked a major military backlash.
More than half a million people have fled in the latest exodus, according to the UN.
The UN probe found that the latest wave of military “clearance operations” in Rakhine in fact began before August 25, possibly in early August, contradicting claims by Myanmar that the crackdown was a response to militant strikes.
The investigation broadly outlines an army-led campaign to erase the Rohingya’s connection to their homeland in the majority Buddhist nation, where they have suffered persecution for decades.
“In some cases, before and during the attacks, megaphones were used to announce: ‘You do