A United Nations fact-finding mission has released an extensive 440-page reportdetailing atrocities carried out by the Myanmar military against Rohingya Muslims, in support of its call for the country's generals to face an international tribunal on charges of genocide.
"Peace will not be achieved while the Tatmadaw remains above the law," Marzuki Darusman, chair of the UN fact-finding mission said in a statement Tuesday referring to the Myanmar military by its Burmese name.
"The Tatmadaw is the greatest impediment to Myanmar's development as a modern democratic nation. The Commander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw, Min Aung Hlaing, and all the current leadership must be replaced, and a complete restructuring must be undertaken to place the Tatmadaw under full civilian control. Myanmar's democratic transition depends on it."
The meticulously detailed report on the situation in Myanmar, one of the longest ever produced by a UN human rights inquiry, was described by the mission as "unprecedented in its scope."
"During their operations the Tatmadaw has systematically targeted civilians, including women and children, committed sexual violence, voiced and promoted exclusionary and discriminatory rhetoric against minorities, and established a climate of impunity for its soldiers," Darusman said.
"I have never been confronted by crimes as horrendous and on such a scale as these," he said, adding "top generals should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in Rakhine State."
The report also had some criticism for the UN itself, saying the international body did not take significant action during the initial burst of violence triggering the Rohingya crisis.