By Zehra Ulucak
ANKARA (AA) – A newly released report by the U.S. Department of State has described the Myanmar army’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims as “well-planned and coordinated.”
“The scope and scale of the military’s operations indicate they were well-planned and coordinated,” said the report released on Monday, referring to the Myanmar’s military violence against Rohingya people in northern Rakhine State of the country.
The report included interviews with the Rohingya people, who escaped the persecution in Myanmar and sought refuge in Bangladesh over the last two years.
“The results of the survey show that the vast majority of Rohingya refugees experienced or directly witnessed extreme violence and the destruction of their homes,” it said.
According to the report, 84 percent of Rohingya, who were part of the research, pointed the military as the perpetrator of the killings or the injuries they witnessed.
The Rohingya said that the security forces used flamethrowers, incendiary devices to burn down houses and to kill and injure them.
They also listed the violent acts such as rape, burning the holy Quran, dismembering the victims, beating or killing the babies and children, and attacking women and babies during birth or after that.
“The survey reveals that the recent violence in northern Rakhine State was extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the population and driving out the Rohingya residents,” it said.
The report added that perpetrators, in some areas, also locked people in houses to burn them and sank boats full of hundreds of fleeing Rohingya.
“Imagery analysis from August 30 to October 23, 2017 indicates that more than 38,000 buildings were destroyed by fire,” it said.
In August, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in an address to the UN Security Council that “the world can no longer avoid the difficult truth of what happened.”
The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar also called for the trial of Myanmar’s top military officials, including army commander-in-chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, at the International Criminal Court for committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
– Rohingya Persecution
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, entitled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police, and over 115,000 Rohingya houses were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.