Myanmar Military Chief’s Facebook Page Deleted

Pompeo Decries ‘Abhorrent Ethnic Cleansing' in Myanmar

"Myanmar's top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States", the report said.

Mandated by the Human Rights Council to look into allegations of abuses committed by Myanmar's security forces, the United Nations -backed "fact-finding mission" convened six months before a military-backed operation in Rakhine state drove more than 700,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh, fleeing what they described as campaign of rape, arson and indiscriminate killing.

Investigators noted that the civilian government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is nowhere near as culpable as the military for the slaughter of civilians because Myanmar's constitution grants ultimate authority to the military.

Facebook said it had carried out an investigation which found the Tatmadaw "used seemingly independent news and opinion pages to covertly push the messages of the Myanmar military". The UN Security Council should refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and concerned governments should immediately present a UN resolution to establish an International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to preserve evidence and assist in investigations for future prosecution of those responsible for atrocity crimes in Myanmar.

The report said the "clearance operations" to drive out the Rohingya were led by the army, along with other security forces such as the Myanmar Police Force and the Border Guard Police.

Activists urged the Security Council to follow through on the fact-finders' calls for prosecution. "The crimes in Rakhine State, and the manner in which they were perpetrated, are similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocidal intent to be established in other contexts", it said.

At a press conference, the mission said the actions in Myanmar account to the "gravest crimes under global law", stating that "criminal prosecution is warranted", under the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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The three-member "fact-finding mission" worked under a mandate by the Human Rights Council.

Investigators conducted 875 interviews and utilized satellite footage to compile accounts of land confiscation, enslavement, mass killings, the burning of entire villages, and large-scale gang rapes. The government, however, sees them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and denies them citizenship.

In 2008, a United Nations court sentenced former army colonel Theoneste Bagosora, accused of masterminding the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994, to life in prison on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

An aerial view shows burned down villages in Myanmar that were once inhabited by Rohingya.

"We want to prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions", the company said in its statement.

In the meantime, the report's findings will likely increase the pressure on Myanmar and its armed forces, which continue to control the political system after formally ending a almost half-century dictatorship in 2011. Many wore black ribbons to commemorate what they said was the start of the "Rohingya genocide".

Among those that it wanted to be prosecuted included Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Vice Senior-General Soe Win and Lieutenant-General Aung Kyaw Zaw, among others. The report said the social media company should have acted quicker. "They torched our homes, that's a fact, they raped our women, that's not false", he said.

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