Views: 409

In the unpublished confessions, Myo Win Tun describes his involvement in killing Rohingya women, men, and children, and he admits to rape in Taung Bazar village and surrounding villages in Buthidaung Township in September 2017. Zaw Naing Tun confesses to his involvement in killings, burying bodies in mass graves, and other crimes against Rohingya in five villages in Maungdaw Township during the Myanmar Army’s 2017 “clearance operations.”

The soldiers provide the names and ranks of 19 direct perpetrators from the Myanmar Army, including themselves, as well as six senior commanders in the Myanmar Army whom they claim ordered or contributed to atrocity crimes against Rohingya, including a lieutenant colonel, a colonel, and three captains. 

Both men separately claimed to be acting on orders from senior commanders to “exterminate all [Rohingya],” to “shoot all that you see and that you hear,” and to “kill all” Rohingya in specific areas. Significantly, both men were operational in two separate townships, simultaneously following orders under different commanders, which may indicate operational consistency between battalions, coordination, and intent to commit genocide.

Myo Win Tun, 33, is an ethnic Shanni originally from Mohnyin Township in Myanmar’s Kachin State. He was a private in the Myanmar Army from April 2016 until he deserted his ranks in Rakhine State in May 2020. Zaw Naing Tun, 30, is an ethnic Rakhine originally from Ramree Township, Rakhine State. He was forcibly conscripted into the Myanmar Army in March 2016 and served as a private until he deserted his ranks in Rakhine State in June 2020.

The Arakan Army—an ethnic armed group currently engaged in armed conflict with the Myanmar Army in Rakhine State—filmed Myo Win Tun’s confession on July 23, 2020 and filmed Zaw Naing Tun’s confession on July 8, 2020.

In mid-August, the two men appeared on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, requesting protection from Bangladesh authorities. As a state party to the Rome Statute, Dhaka notified the ICC of the presence of the two former soldiers. According to the legal counsel for the Government of Bangladesh, the men are no longer in Bangladesh.

The filmed confessions appear to be credible, said Fortify Rights. The information described in the confessions is consistent with human rights documentation of the 2016 and 2017 Myanmar Army-led “clearance operations” against Rohingya in northern Rakhine State. For instance, Zaw Naing Tun and Myo Win Tun identify six LIBs as responsible for crimes against Rohingya— LIBs 345, 353, 551, 552, 564, and 565. Fortify Rights as well as the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar previously identified these six LIBs, and others, as involved in genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya in 2017.

Myo Win Tun confesses to his involvement in destroying Rohingya villages in the vicinity of Taung Bazar in Buthidaung Township in September 2017. He also admits to rape, his involvement in the killings of 30 men, women, and children in Taung Bazar, and the additional killings of 60 to 70 civilians in “village after village” in the vicinity of Taung Bazar. Zaw Naing Tun similarly confesses that he and his battalion “wiped out” 20 Rohingya villages in Maungdaw Township in September 2017 and that he participated in the killing of an estimated 80 civilians, “including children, adults, women, and even elderly people” through coordinated massacres. 

Source: FortifyRights