On Monday, a UN fact-finding mission released a damning report that accused Myanmar security forces of genocide, saying that the military “kill[ed] indiscriminately, gang rap[ed] women, assault[ed] children, and burn[ed] entire villages”.
This is the most serious charge the UN can make against a government.
It’s unclear, however, what the new report means for the estimated one million refugees living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
These camps became the world’s largest settlement of its kind less than a year ago, when Myanmar’s military launched a brutal crackdown that forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee northern Rakhine state in a matter of weeks.
The UN, Myanmar and Bangladesh had previously agreed that the Rohingya would eventually be returned to their homes. But until their safety is guaranteed and long-term peace is assured, it’s unlikely they will be able to go back.
Myanmar authorities have denied almost all accusations, refusing to cooperate with international investigators and human rights organizations. The UN team behind Monday’s report, as well the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, have all been barred from entering the country at all.
Recently, the government granted VICE News rare access on an organized trip to northern Rakhine State, where much of the violence happened.
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