The KNU Concerned Group welcomes and supports the recent report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar’s 22 August 2019 report to the Human Rights Council about the sexual and genderbased violence in Myanmar and the gendered impact upon its ethnic conflicts. This Report concluded that “rape and other sexual violence has been a particularly egregious and recurrent feature of the targeting of the civilian population in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States since 2011”.
It should also be noted that these acts of sexual violence by the Myanmar military have also been present in other ethnic areas of Myanmar. The Karen Women’s Organization provided an extensive documentation of sexual violence committed against ethnic women in their two reports – Shattering Silence: Karen Women speak out about the Burmese Military Regime’s use of Rape as a Strategy of War in Karen State (2004) and State of Terror: The ongoing rape, murder, torture and forced labour suffered by women living under the Burmese Military Regime in Karen State (2007). These reports also showed that the Myanmar military was targeting Karen women both because of their ethnicity and gender. Thus, We agree with the Report’s conclusions in respect to actions to be undertaken by the Myanmar Government, ethnic armed organizations, UN Security Council, and international community to address the issue of sexual violence committed by the Myanmar military against ethnic women.
We furthermore welcome and support the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar’s 5 August 2019 report to the Human Rights Council in respect to the economic interests of the Myanmar military. We agree that many of the violations, documented in the Report, amount to the gravest of crimes under international law and thus, warrant the further investigation and prosecution of the senior Myanmar military leaders so that they can be held liable for genocide in respect to the situations in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan States.
Since the Myanmar military’s economic interests enable its conduct, not only in Rakhine State but in other contested areas on Myanmar, the KNU Concerned Group urges the international community to live up to its responsibilities under international law by refusing to enter into or remain in business relationships with Myanmar military economic interests. Furthermore, the international community should impose an embargo on the sales of armament to the Myanmar military and on the training of Myanmar military personnel since such armament and training are utilized by the Myanmar military to perpetrate human rights violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes upon its own people.
Furthermore, the KNU Concerned Group applauds the US Government’s 16 July 2019 public designation of four Burmese military high -ranking generals and their immediate family members as ineligible for entry into the USA.
The KNU Concerned Group urges the US Government to support the establishment of a mechanism for the collection, analysis, and public reporting of the continuing human rights’ violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by the Burmese military. This mechanism should collect such incidences by specific Burmese military units and their commanders to identify those Burmese military units and their commanders directly responsible for human rights’ violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
The KNU Concerned Group also supports further action by the international community, especially in respect to the establishment of an international tribunal on Myanmar. These acts of sexual violence, human rights’ violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes must not continue against the ethnic peoples of Myanmar.
KNU Concerned Group
Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein (+66) 613 4800 67
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