Myanmar’s ruling military committing increasingly brazen war crimes: IIMM
The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar raised concerns on Tuesday over the country’s ruling military and affiliated militias indiscriminately and disproportionately targeting civilians with bombs, burning of civilian houses and mass executions of detainees.
IIMM, which was established by the UN in 2018 to monitor violations of international law in the Asian country, said it found strong evidence of the army and militias committing increasingly frequent and brazen war crimes, including aerial bombings targeting civilians.
Myanmar In Turmoil Since February 2021
The group said it is collecting evidence that can be used by courts in the future “to hold individual perpetrators responsible.” “Every loss of life in Myanmar is tragic,” said Nicholas Koumjian, head of the group, adding evidence points to a dramatic increase in war crimes.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since February 2021 when the military grabbed control from the elected government of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, triggering massive non-violent demonstrations which were suppressed with brutal force.
Opponents of the ruling military subsequently took up arms and large parts of the country are now under the influence of a deadly conflict. Some UN experts have characterised the disturbance as a civil war. Security forces have arrested over 24,200 civilians since the takeover and killed at least 3,900 others, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
IIMM Actively Investigating Violence Against The Rohingya
In April, the military dropped an explosive in an attack on Pazigyi village in Sagaing region that killed over 160 people, including a number of children. The attack was made against a ceremony for the opening of a local office of the National Unity Government, the main opposition organisation that calls itself Myanmar’s legitimate administrative body.
It’s unclear whether Myanmar authorities have probed any military or civilian official, the report mentioned, adding the ignoring of such war crimes or crimes against humanity indicates higher authorities intended for them to be committed.
In addition, the IIMM said it’s actively investigating the violence committed by the military against the Rohingya Muslim minority in 2017. Tens of thousands of Rohingya have escaped to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017.