Australia considering targeted sanction on Myanmar

The Australian government said it is considering options including targeted sanctions on Myanmar in response to the UN Fact-Finding Mission’s report regarding last year’s atrocities against Rohingya people in Rakhine state.

“The Australian Government condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities committed in Myanmar’s Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as detailed in the full report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement, according to a media release issued by the Australian High Commission here today.

The Myanmar military launched a brutal crackdown in northwestern Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August last year that is believed to have killed about 25,000 Rohingyas and drove 700,000 of them out of their home to take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Following the UN fact-finding Mission’s preliminary report of 27 August, the Australian foreign minister said in the statement that the full report documents in detail serious violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, committed primarily by Myanmar’s military against ethnic minorities.

“The full report of the Fact-Finding Mission adds to a large body of evidence indicating the commission of the most serious crimes under international law, particularly against the Rohingya,” she said.

In the case of Rakhine State, the Fact-Finding Mission concludes that crimes against humanity and war crimes have occurred, as well as finding sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation and prosecutions for genocide perpetrated against the Rohingya, she mentioned.

In line with the Mission’s recommendations, the Australian minister said her country will support new international efforts on accountability and justice in Myanmar, including at the Human Rights Council, of which we are a member.

“Respect for human rights, and full accountability for the human rights violations that have occurred, will be essential to this process,” she added.

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