28, Dec 2017 | CJP Team
Pramila Patten, the United Nations’ Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, visited Myanmar earlier this month to discuss the Rohingya crisis with the government. The Guardian was able to see a letter Patten sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which indicated that Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s state counsellor, did not engage in “any substantive discussion” of reports that Myanmar’s troops and police and Buddhist militias have conducted “widespread and systemic sexual violence” against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. According to The Guardian, Aung San Suu Kyi told Patten she would have “a number of good meetings” with senior government officials. The Guardian reported that in these meetings, military and civilian government representatives told Patten that the reports were “exaggerated and fabricated by the international community”. Myanmar’s army previously conducted an internal probe, and found no wrongdoing by forces. The Guardian reported that Patten met with Lt-Gen Aye Win, who led the probe, and wrote about it in her letter; “The military investigation, which consisted of armed men in uniform ‘interrogating’ civilians in large group settings, often on camera, and then presenting rations to communities following their testimony and cooperation, clearly occurred under coercive circumstances, where the incentive structure was not to lodge complaints,” she wrote, adding, “Accordingly, over 800 interviews yielded zero reports of sexual or other violence against civilians by the armed and security forces”.