Rape Used as A Weapon of War in Myanmar: Report

Throughout decades of civil war in Myanmar, there have been many reports of abuses committed against women and children by the Burmese military.

INDONESIA

Senin, 20 Okt 2014 15:30 WIB

Author

DVB

Rape Used as A Weapon of War in Myanmar: Report

Burma, sexual violence, civil war, weapon, DVB

The Women’s League of Burma recently released a report that documented more than 100 victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Burmese Army since Thein Sein’s government took power.

ArrKhon from the Kachin Women’s Peace Network says she is not surprise by the reports findings.

“This is systematic rape. It is a systematic strategy to create a war mentality amongst the ethnic people and instigate war.”

Rape is prohibited under domestic law, yet seemingly systematic rape in conflict areas continues across the country, and perpetrators are rarely punished.

In Burma crimes committed by military personnel are tried by a military court—this has created almost complete impunity for the armed forces.

Mi Mi Thin is an anti-gender based violence campaigner with the UN.

“The cases from the Women’s League of Burma report are just the tip of the iceberg, underneath this goes many miles deeper and we still can’t reach the deepest point, so we don’t need to wait until thousands of cases have been reported.”

In June 2014, Burma signed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

But Thin Thin Aung from the women’s league of Burma says this means nothing in the field.

“In the conflict areas, there is only the rule of soldiers. There is no rule of law at all. Those who have the weapons can do whatever they want. Human rights are being violated and the government needs to acknowledge that this is happening and be willing to solve these problems.”

She says too often in Burma the women is blamed for the rape.

“Some billboards posted by the police force say, ‘to prevent women from being raped, please be careful what you wear, don’t go out at night, don’t let your daughter go out with strangers’. These campaigns are putting responsibility on the women. The campaign should be targeted at the criminals and the emphasis should be on not committing this crime.”

She said perpetrators of sexual violence need to be punished, and that military impunity must be addressed to put an end to the widespread sexual crimes in Myanmar’s conflict zones.


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