Evidence of Rohingya mass graves uncovered

Evidence of Rohingya mass graves uncovered

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh turned over a list of nearly 4,400 Rohingya killed in Myanmar's Rakhine state since October 2016 to a United Nations envoy, who told reporters Thursday that violence against the Muslim minority bore "the hallmarks of a genocide".

The data was collected by Rohingya leaders going door to door in refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh, according to people who took part in the effort.

She said the atrocities committed against the Rohingyas in the aftermath of the 9 October 2016 and the 25 August 2017 attacks, have been repeatedly witnessed before, albeit not on the same scale of the recent attacks against the Rohingya. Senior military officials, border guard forces and local administrators were due to visit the village on February 2.

"According to our list, 3,942 people were immediately killed following the operations of the security forces and the Buddhists after October 9, 2016, and August 25, 2017, attacks in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathidaung townships", he said.

The Myanmar military had launched a massive crackdown against alleged militant groups in Rakhine past year.

Burmese Rohingya Organisation United Kingdom president, Tun Khin has urged Malaysia to continue speaking out against the oppression of the ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar and channelling humanitarian aid for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. They have not updated the figure since. This counters the Myanmar government's line that it is only fighting Rohingya insurgents and that such massacres are not taking place.

The U.S. and the United Nations said they were very concerned about the report, while Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the worldwide community should demand accountability from Myanmar.

An exclusive investigation by the Associated Press has disclosed five previously unreported mass graves of Rohingya villagers.

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Yanghee Lee told reporters in Seoul that she could not make a definitive declaration about genocide until a credible worldwide tribunal or court had weighed the evidence, but "we are seeing signs and it is building up to that".

"I couldn't move", he said.

The U.N. defines genocide as acts meant to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part.

UN Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council - the highest UN intergovernmental body on all matters related to human rights - to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. "We were not able to bury them as we ran for our lives", he said.

At least 406 other Rohingya snatched from their homes were later found dead by their relatives, bringing the total number of people killed in the three townships to 4,348, he said. Spokesman Heather Nauert also said the U.S. State Department was "deeply, deeply troubled by these reports of mass graves".

Stephane Dujarric was asked for reaction from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the AP's report confirming more than five mass graves in the Myanmar village of Gu Dar Pyin.

The graves are new evidence for what looks increasingly like a genocide in Myanmar's western Rakhine state against the Rohingya, a long-persecuted ethnic Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist country.

Following the AP report, the US State Department said Thursday it was "deeply, deeply troubled" by the new reports of mass graves. "We remain focused on helping to ensure the accountability for those responsible for human rights abuses and violations".

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