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Leaked memo shows Myanmar military may be covering its tracks

A leaked memo reveals how the Myanmar military is trying to hide from international scrutiny of its crimes against the Rohingya and other people.

A memo from a senior official in the Myanmar military, issued on Jan 6, 2022, and made public last week, orders all military personnel not to answer letters related to arrest warrants or summons from the International Criminal Court (ICC) or the Argentinian judiciary.

It looks like the Myanmar military is trying to cover the tracks of its genocidal crimes, a sign that the efforts to hold the junta to account for its atrocities are working.

It shows that the international community must redouble all efforts to bring Min Aung Hlaing and his cronies to justice.

The ICC, in November 2019, opened a case against Myanmar over crimes against humanity in its treatment of the Rohingya.

In December last year, the Argentinian judiciary accepted a petition by the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (Brouk) to open a case against senior military officials over genocide and crimes against humanity in Rakhine State since 2016.

The memo makes specific references to both processes and to Brouk as an organisation, signed by Captain Aung Ko Zaw.

The memo also bans military personnel from accepting letters from "plaintiffs", a reference to the many victims involved in the judicial processes.

Brouk's case in Argentina, for example, includes as witnesses six women who survived sexual violence during the military operation in Rakhine State in 2017.

Last month, independent media outlet, Myanmar Now, revealed that the junta had issued a separate order to its staff to not receive any notification issued by international courts seeking to prosecute junta leaders.

That order was signed by Tun Tun Oo, a former general appointed by the regime to serve as Myanmar's chief justice.

The military has terrorised people for decades with impunity. The only way to break this cycle of abuse is to ensure that those responsible are held to account.

The United Nations Security Council must support a full referral of the situation in Myanmar to the ICC, while other countries should look to open universal jurisdiction cases like the one in Argentina

Source : Al-Mujtamaa Magazine 


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