The UN says it has gathered evidence that Myanmar’s security forces committed mass rapes and killed young children in their crackdown on the Rohingya minority, according to a UN report that was published Friday.
“The report concludes that the widespread violations against the Rohingya population indicate the very likely commission of crimes against humanity,” the UN human rights office in Geneva said.
UN investigators interviewed some 200 refugees of the Muslim Rohingya group in Bangladesh, who fled a security operation in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state that has spiralled out of control since October.
Of the 101 women interviewed, more than half said they had been raped or sexually assaulted.
Several women told UN investigators how their young children, including a newborn, were trampled or cut to death.
“What kind of ‘clearance operation’ is this?
“What national security goals could possibly be served by this?” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.
The security operation was launched in early October after nine border guards were killed, allegedly by Muslim men.
The UN report said that in addition to the killings and rapes, security forces had been involved in torture and in the disappearance of Rohingyas.
In addition, hundreds of Rohingya houses, fields, schools, markets, shops and mosques have been destroyed by security forces and mobs.
Entire families were burnt to death inside their homes, according to the report.
“The gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the international community,” Zeid said.