News & Politics

Five Mass Graves of Rohingya Muslims Found in Myanmar

(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Even more proof has been revealed showing the Myanmar army is committing a genocide against Rohingya Muslims. At least five mass graves have been discovered and confirmed by the Associated Press:

The faces of the men half-buried in the mass graves had been burned away by acid or blasted by bullets. Noor Kadir finally recognized his friends only by the colors of their shorts.

Kadir and 14 others, all Rohingya Muslims in the Myanmar village of Gu Dar Pyin, had been choosing players for the soccer-like game of chinlone when the gunfire began. They scattered from what sounded like hard rain on a tin roof. By the time the Myanmar military stopped shooting, only Kadir and two teammates were left alive.

Days later, Kadir found six of his friends among the bodies in two graves.

They are among more than five mass graves, all previously unreported, that have been confirmed by The Associated Press through multiple interviews with more than two dozen survivors in Bangladesh refugee camps and through time-stamped cellphone videos.

The Myanmar government continues to claim that these massacres never happened, and has only acknowledged the existence of one mass grave, saying it contains the bodies of “terrorists.”

However, AP’s investigative reporting shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Rohingya Muslims are systematically slaughtered by the Myanmar military. In many cases, the soldiers doing the butchering are helped by the Rohingyas’ Buddhist neighbors.

There is indeed a genocide against Rohingyas taking place in Myanmar. Entire villages have been wiped out. In Gu Dar Pyin, for instance, “satellite images obtained by the AP from DigitalGlobe, along with video of homes reduced to ash, reveal a village that has been decimated. Community leaders in the refugee camps have compiled a list of 75 dead so far, and villagers estimate the toll could be as high as 400.”

According to survivors, the soldiers “carefully planned the August 27 attack, and then deliberately tried to hide what they had done. They came to the slaughter armed not only with rifles, knives, rocket launchers and grenades, but also with shovels to dig pits and acid to burn away faces and hands so that the bodies could not be identified. Two days before the attack, villagers say, soldiers were seen buying 12 large containers of acid at a nearby village’s market.”

The mass murder started at around noon when more than 200 soldiers entered Gu Dar Pyin. They shot at everyone and everything in sight. The only Rohingyas to survive were those “fast enough” to run away. Perhaps the worst part is what happened after the soldiers had carried out their “mission”:

Buddhist villagers then moved through Gu Dar Pyin in a sort of mopping-up operation, using knives to cut the throats of the injured, survivors said, and working with soldiers to throw small children and the elderly into the fires.

Not only do Buddhist civilians not object to the mass murder of their Rohingya neighbors, they’re actively participating in it. This is a completely different version of “Wir haben es nicht gewußt.”

That’s bad enough, but what makes this even worse is the silence from the rest of the world. We used to say “never again,” but it’s clear that we didn’t actually mean that. “Never again” means “never again” in Europe, but when it happens elsewhere and to “other people,” we can’t be bothered.

The Rohingya are paying the ultimate price for our disinterest.