UN bins Myanmar reasoning ARSA attack for Rohingya genocide
Sayeed Muhammad: The UN has found that the Myanmar military had planned the Rohingya genocide the much before the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked Myanmar security personnel, a justification for the violence that the rouge nation has been putting forward.
In a report, the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar said, “Although the Government (of Myanmar) has stated that ARSA burned Rohingya villages, the Mission found no such indication”, reports The Daily Star.
Referring to the attacks by ARSA, Myanmar government including its de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi repeatedly lied saying that ARSA’s attack forced the Myanmar army to launch the crackdown, it said.
According to the report, ARSA attacks and ensuing “clearance operations” did not occur in a vacuum. “They were foreseeable and planned”.
In May-July 2017, ultranationalist monk Wirathu visited northern Rakhine twice, conducting mass public sermons. The village of Zay Di Pyin (Rathedaung Township) was blockaded by Rakhine villagers and security forces throughout August, the report said.
Amid heightened tension immediately before August 25, 2017, Myanmar media increasingly reported on alleged ARSA activity in an inflammatory manner; state-sponsored hate speech towards the Rohingya continued, it claimed.
According to the report, a large build-up of troops and other military assets across northern Rakhine began in early August 2017, following a meeting between Rakhine politicians and the Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief.
Soldiers from the 33rd and 99th Light Infantry Divisions were airlifted into Rakhine State, with additional deliveries of military equipment, the mission finds. “The increased presence was evident.”
Soldiers took over Border Guard Police posts. Rakhine men were recruited into the security forces, including “fast track” recruitment into the police. Other local Rakhine men were mobilised and armed, the report said.
This build-up was significant, requiring logistical planning and time to implement, indicating that the subsequent operations were foreseen and planned.
The report contains the main findings and recommendations of the mission on Myanmar.
The United Nations has denounced Myanmar’s “brutal security operation” against Rohingyas in Rakhine State as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.