Burma Army Accused of War Crimes: Report Calls for International Criminal Court and Sanctions to be Imposed

A report released by Legal Aid Network in April 2018, accuses the Burma Army of acting with impunity in three ethnic states – northern Shan State, Karenni State and Kachin State.

The report – Seeking Accountability for Ending Impunity in Burma, Analysis of War Crimes – details a number of incidents against civilians that Legal Aid Network alleged amount to war crimes. The report concludes that “genuine peace [in Burma] cannot be achieved under the current so-called peace seeking process, centered on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

The LAN report documented a number of abuses that showed how civilians were used as human shields. On November 20, Burma Army soldiers from Light Infantry Division 99 forced 147 Man Jat villagers to their hilltop camp. The villagers “were forced to lie face down on the ground around the base, without moving, while guns and mortars were fired over their heads. They remained there for thirteen days. Thirteen villagers were injured by gunfire and grenades, and two killed. One of the injured men lay bleeding all night without being treated, until Myanmar military medics came and amputated his arm; even after the amputation, he was made to continue lying on the ground as a human shield.”

The report recommends that as the current peace process is not working it needs to involve “a Third Party, possibly formed by government representatives from China, Japan, Indonesia, Switzerland and Canada, should be demanded and facilitated.”

The report calls for the UN Fact Finding Mission (UN FFM) to “consider providing recommendations to the UN Security Council to transfer the situation of Burma to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to form a new International Criminal Tribunal for Burma (ICTB).”

The Legal Aid Network report recommends that economic sanctions should again “be imposed on Burma, as investments by foreign and national companies in Ethnic States are ignoring the rights of these States and their indigenous inhabitants.”

Legal Aid Network is an independent organization that is not aligned with any political organization.

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