Two Burmese soldiers who participated in the country’s army’s “clean-up” against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine State recently defected and are currently in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after confessing to taking themselves participated in the massacres and were ordered to “kill everyone”.
The news of the arrival of the two defectors in The Hague was confirmed by both the New York Times and the Canadian network CBC. They have asked Fortify Rights, an NGO that defends the rights of the Rohingya, that both be dealt with quickly by the ICC and that the court provide witness protection.
“This is a monumental moment for the Rohingya and the people of Burma in their continued struggle for justice,” its director Matthew Smith said in a statement. “These men could be the first Burmese perpetrators to be tried by the ICC and the first direct witnesses in custody in the court,” he said.
The soldiers were identified as Myo Win Tun (33) and Zaw Naing Tun (30). The former was in the army between April 2016 and May of this year when he deserted in Rakhine, while the latter was forcibly enrolled in that state in March 2016 and left in June of this year.