Burma ranked third at global risk of genocide

Rohingya families flee their homes and hearths for place of unknown destination-File Photo

By Arakan Watch Reporter:

BURMA has been ranked as the third most risk country in the world to experience episodes of genocide, based on annual rankings that show civilian mass killings at the hands of government forces are on the rise worldwide.

A report published recently from NGO ‘The Early Warning Project’ estimates the risk of deliberate killing of more than 1,000 civilians within a country by that country’s government or its agents, or state-patronised mass killing. The analysis forecasts risks using public data and advanced methodologies built on 50 years of historical indicators in the hope of highlighting cases where there are early warning signs of potential mass atrocities.

For wthe third year running, Burma has made it into the top three, with Sudan and Yemen in first two positions. According to the data, Burma is already experiencing state-led mass killings, however, models indicate significant risk of a new distinct episode occurring despite the country’s progress towards democracy. Increased violence against the Muslim minority Rohingya is behind this high ranking.

A recent UN report detailed how Burma’s security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes against Rohingya during their campaign against the insurgents, which may amount to crimes against humanity. The military has denied the accusations, saying it was engaged in a legitimate counter-insurgency operation, but this has been largely discredited by independent bodies.

While the UN report stopped short of explicitly labelling the crackdown as ethnic cleansing, they expressed “serious concerns” that the attacks were a result of a “purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas”.

Cameron Hudson, director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, warned of a dangerous influx of state-led mass killings across the globe and reiterated the importance of analysis such as this to fight against it.

“After a decade of decline, civilian mass killings by governments against their own people are once again on the rise,” she said. “By combining the power of analytics with the growing body of social science around mass killing onsets, we hope to galvanise preventive actions to avoid these outcomes” she added.

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