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Myanmar Generals Should Face Genocide Charges, U.N. Panel Says

The United Nations mission said the dominant position of the Tatmadaw, which ruled Myanmar for nearly half a century and still enjoys absolute impunity even as it shares power with a civilian government, meant that yet another Rakhine commission formed by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi “will not and cannot” deliver a meaningful outcome. “The impetus for accountability must come from the international community,” it said.

A conspicuous failing of Myanmar’s civilian authorities identified by the panel was their failure to curb virulent hate speech by religious and national hard-liners on social media platforms, notably Facebook.

“Facebook’s response was slow and ineffective,” the report said, although a panel member, Radhika Coomaraswamy, said the company had since taken a more active role in policing hate speech in Myanmar, assigning more people to monitor it and take it down.

On Monday, Facebook announced that it was taking additional steps in response to criticism that it had done too little to stem hate speech and misinformation in Myanmar. Acknowledging that it had been “too slow to act,” the company said it was banning 20 people and groups, including General Min Aung Hlaing, linked to the crisis in Myanmar.

The U.N. panel’s report also calls for accountability within the United Nations, delivering a scathing assessment of its failure to respond to the abuses unfolding in Myanmar and calling for a comprehensive independent inquiry “as a matter of urgency.”

United Nations officials in Myanmar failed to put in place the organization’s policy on human rights, preferring to give priority to development and quiet diplomacy, the panel said, echoing criticisms of the United Nations in Sri Lanka during the bloody closing stages of its war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

“That approach has demonstrably failed; the United Nations as a whole failed to adequately address human rights concerns,” the panel said.

Even now, it added, the approach taken by United Nations agencies in Myanmar “displays few signs of any lessons learned.”

Source: NYT > World

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