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But on Monday, a UN-backed fact-finding mission into violations in Myanmar said the country's "top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State".

Since August 2016, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, causing a humanitarian crisis.

The report also denounces the country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to use her authority as a heroine of the struggle for democracy and the country's de facto leader to stop the brutal campaign of arson, rape and murder, which forced 700,000 Rohingya civilians out of their homes in Rakhine state and into neighbouring Bangladesh.

They should also be investigated and prosecuted for "crimes against humanity and war crimes" against the Rohingya in Rakhine, as well as against other minorities in the northern Kachin and Shan States, the mission said in a report. But the document said that "through their acts and omissions, the civilian authorities have contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes".

The report calls for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The army's tactics are "consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats", it said.

In an unusually prompt move, the pages and accounts of the Mynamar military, known as the Tatmadaw, were deleted just minutes after the United Nations fact-finding mission released its damning report.

"Specifically, we are banning 20 individuals and organizations from Facebook in Myanmar - including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military's Myawady television network".

The report said the situation was a "catastrophe looming for decades", and an inevitable result of "severe, systemic and institutionalised oppression from birth to death".

They included Brigadier-General Aung Aung, commander of the 33rd Light Infantry Division, which oversaw operations in the coastal village of Inn Din where 10 Rohingya captive boys and men were killed.




"So far, condemnations without action by United Nations member states have only emboldened a culture of violence and oppression in Myanmar", Adams said.

In Rakhine state, the report also found elements of extermination and deportation "similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocide intent to be established in other contexts".

"The military's contempt for human life, dignity and freedom - for global law in general - should be a cause of concern for the entire population of Myanmar, and to the worldwide community as a whole", said fact-finding mission chair Marzuki Darusman, a former Indonesian attorney-general, at a news conference.

"The Tatmadaw acts with complete impunity and has never been held accountable".

The commander-in-chief of the army said the "clearance operation was defined as completing an unfinished job of solving the long-standing Bengali problem", which the mission say is an example of genocidal intent.

Facebook said that among the pages and accounts taken down Monday are some that pretended to provide independent news and opinion while covertly promoting messages of Myanmar's military.

Suu Kyi's government has rejected most allegations of atrocities made against the security forces by refugees.

The UN report singled out Facebook for its "slow and ineffective" response.

The company said in a blog post Monday that it's removed 18 accounts and 52 pages associated with the Myanmar military due to the ongoing ethnic violence against Rohingya Muslims in the country. This is a huge responsibility given so many people there rely on Facebook for information - more so than in nearly any other country given the nascent state of the news media and the recent rapid adoption of mobile phones.


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