The findings of a U.S. State Department investigation into Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis are “consistent” with those of a damning report by U.N. investigators released this week that called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Tuesday.
The U.N. report released on Monday said Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent.” It was the first time the United Nations had explicitly called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges over their campaign against the Rohingya.
In a speech to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley did not use the term “genocide.” But she said that out of more than 1,000 randomly selected Rohingya Muslim surveyed in the State Department report, “fully one fifth” witnessed more than 100 victims being killed or injured.
She said 82 percent saw a killing and more than half witnessed sexual violence and 45 percent a rape.
“Most importantly, the report identifies one group as the perpetrator of the overwhelming majority of these crimes: the Burmese military and security forces,” she said.
“The results are consistent with the recently released U.N. independent international fact-finding mission,” she said. “The world can no longer avoid the difficult truth of what happened.”
Haley said the U.N. Security Council must hold those responsible for the violence to account and added: “The whole world is watching what we do next and if we will act.”
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Writing by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Tim Ahmann