In a stunning development this week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) declared that it has jurisdiction over the Myanmar government’s crimes against the Rohingya minority. This comes not long after the scrupulously conservative United Nations issued a report calling for the military leadership in Myanmar, including Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing, to be investigated and prosecuted on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for its “clearance operations” against the Rohingya.
What is even more surprising, however, is that the country’s pro-democracy icon and current de facto leader of the civilian government in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has also been identified in the U.N.… Seguir leyendo »
Aug. 8 marks the 30th anniversary of Myanmar’s pro-democracy uprising in 1988. Until that moment, the country had been a Soviet-style, one-party socialist state led by a military junta for well over two decades. Then, on that August day, 2 million people rose up against the regime.
The junta responded with a brutal crackdown. The armed forces killed some 3,000 to 10,000 people outright; tens of thousands more were injured, imprisoned or run out of the country altogether. Among those jailed was Aung San Suu Kyi, a newly emerged pro-democracy leader who was also the daughter of one of the country’s post-independence founders.… Seguir leyendo »
The international community and the politics of the word “genocide” have a long and complex history. In the wake of the Holocaust, the prevention of mass atrocities was one of the founding aims of the United Nations. Yet ever since the U.N.’s establishment, and the enshrinement into international law of the duty of the international community to intervene in cases of mass slaughter, individual member nations and the U.N. assembly as a whole have systematically resisted characterizing humanitarian crises as “genocides” in order to avoid their moral and legal duty to intervene. In other words, we take the concept of genocide extremely seriously.… Seguir leyendo »
On Nov. 23, the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement to return the Rohingya refugees — more than 600,000 people who escaped from Rakhine state in western Myanmar to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh — after ethnic cleansing carried out by Myanmar’s armed forces since August.
Bangladesh is expected to compile lists of refugees wanting to return on a voluntary basis. Myanmar intends to verify each application to establish whether a refugee is eligible for repatriation. The returnees must provide copies of identity cards and documents certifying the address of their residence in Myanmar.
It might create the illusion of a policy decision by two governments moving toward addressing a shared refugee crisis.… Seguir leyendo »