What is this report about?
Early in the morning on 25 August 2017, a Rohingya armed group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) launched coordinated attacks on security force posts in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, the Myanmar security forces, led by the Myanmar Army, unleashed a vicious campaign of violence that forced more than 702,000 women, men and children – 80% of the Rohingya population of northern Rakhine State at that time – to flee to Bangladesh. Violations committed during these operations included deportation, unlawful killings, rape, torture, village burnings and forced starvation.
“We Will Destroy Everything”: Military Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine State, Myanmar is the culmination of nine months of intensive research into exactly what happened during this period. It provides a comprehensive account of the violations committed by the Myanmar military and reveals many previously unknown details, including which specific military units were involved in massacres, rapes, and village burning, as well as describing how some of the most senior members of Myanmar’s military are implicated in crimes against humanity.
The 186-page report is the result of more than 400 interviews as well as reams of corroborating evidence, including satellite imagery, photos, verified videos, forensic medical examination of injury photographs and confidential documents on the Myanmar military.
What are its key findings?
The report goes into minute detail about the patterns of violations and crimes committed in the military’s “clearance operations” following the ARSA attacks and provides extensive, credible evidence implicating Myanmar’s military Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and 12 other named individuals in crimes against humanity.
It provides details of how the military carried out large-scale massacres in the villages of Chut Pyin, Min Gyi and Maung Nu and how they burnt down several hundred Rohingya villages across Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships. The report further describes how soldiers raped and committed other sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls in a widespread manner, which terrorized Rohingya communities and was part of what drove many people to flee northern Rakhine State.
–> Insignia of the Myanmar Army’s Western Command.