Myanmar generals should be prosecuted for genocide, war crimes

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It raises the remarkable prospect that the Nobel Peace Prize victor could see her own generals put on trial for crimes against humanity.

"Through their acts and omissions, the civilian authorities contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes", it said.

Thousands of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh following a campaign of arson and killings by the army in the Buddhist-majority previous year.

Some 700,000 Rohingya fled the crackdown and most are now living in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

The army tactics have been "consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats", it said.

The Mission report concluded "there is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw chain of command, so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine State".

"Facebook has been the key channel enabling the military's communication with the public and this ban will hit their communication ability hard", said Richard Horsey, a Yangon-based independent political analyst and former United Nations diplomat to the country.

"The ethnic violence in Myanmar has been truly horrific", Facebook said in its statement.

The investigators named six of the country's top military commanders, adding that a longer list of names could be shared with "any competent and credible body pursuing accountability in line with worldwide norms and standards".

They included Brigadier-General Aung Aung, commander of the 33rd Light Infantry Division, which oversaw operations in the coastal village of Inn Din where 10 Rohingya captive boys and men were killed.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, the head of the mission, Marzuki Darusman, insisted that "the only way forward is to call for (Min Aung Hlaing's) resignation and stepping down immediately".

"The verdict will be announced on Sep 3", said district judge Khin Maung Maung in a swift hearing at a courthouse in Yangon, adding that the presiding judge was sick.

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In April, seven soldiers were sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor for participating in the massacre.

Their report also criticized de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner and a past victor of the Nobel Peace Prize, of not doing enough to prevent the military operations in Rakhine state.

"In Rakhine State, the elements of the crimes against humanity of extermination and deportation are also present", it said.

They said the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law. She then named six generals the team has flagged for a criminal inquiry to prioritize, starting with Military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Reuters was not able to contact those four generals on Monday. Instead, investigators relied on satellite imagery, photographs and videos and "875 in-depth interviews with victims and eyewitnesses".

"The result is a continuing situation of severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death", the investigators say.

Posts in both English and Burmese would refer to the Rohingya as "Bengali", implying they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and helping reinforce the idea they do not belong in mainly Buddhist Myanmar. Brig. Gen. Maung Maung, a military representative in Parliament, said the army doesn't have any comment on the United Nations report.

The report also criticized Facebook for allowing the world's biggest social media network to be used to incite violence and hatred.

"Although improved in recent months, Facebook's response has been slow and ineffective".

"We continue to work to prevent the misuse of Facebook in Myanmar - including through the independent human rights impact assessment we commissioned earlier in the year", the company said.

Packer said Myanmar has at least $12 billion in exports annually, and that powerful people, including military generals, benefit financially from foreign investments.