Since October last year, Myanmar’s security forces have been committing mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burning down villages in a campaign that likely amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing, according to the United Nations.
A report from the UN’s human rights office said: “The ‘area clearance operations’ have likely resulted in hundreds of deaths”, and Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said that Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi promised, on Friday, to investigate the allegations.
“She informed me that an investigation will be launched. She said that they would require further information,” he said.
The report, which was based on interviews with 204 Rohingya refugees who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, recounted gruesome violations, allegedly carried out by members of Myanmar’s security services or civilian fighters working alongside the army and the police.
Of the 101 women interviewed, more than half said they had been raped or sexually assaulted, and several women told UN investigators how their young children, including a newborn, were trampled or cut to death.
Security forces were also accused of opening fire at people fleeing and burning entire villages, as well as of ” … deliberate destruction of food and sources of food”.
Tun Khin, a Rohingya activist, told Al Jazeera that the international community now needed to change what he called a “soft approach” towards Myanmar’s government.
“Every day Rohingya are facing abuses and extra-judicial killings are going on,” said Khin, who heads the UK-based Burmese Rohingya Organisation.
“The [UN Security Council] has to come up with a strong binding resolution to take action against the Myanmar government,” he said, adding that he was pushing hard for the issue to be tabled there.
- Pray for the Rohingya people, for justice to be seen to be done on their behalf, and for safe havens for those who have fled their homes.
- Pray for the government of Myanmar to recognise the Rohingya as legitimate citizens and to bring a halt to the violence and atrocities currently being waged against them.
- Pray for those responsible for the atrocities to be brought to justice.
- Pray that many Rohingya will encounter Jesus Christ, and come to know His life, healing and hope for themselves and their families.
Psalm 10 vs 8: “O Lord … you will incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more“