Statement by Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar

Geneva, 23 May 2024 The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar is closely monitoring the escalation in fighting in Rakhine State in Myanmar and assessing if crimes against humanity or war crimes have been committed.

We are examining numerous reports of high intensity fighting between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, including increased violence and the destruction of property in Buthidaung Township which has reportedly resulted in the displacement of thousands of mainly Rohingya civilians, and is also impacting on Rakhine and Hindu communities.

The Mechanism is also collecting evidence of potential serious international crimes committed in other parts of Myanmar as conflict continues to increase across the country.

The Mechanism is mandated to investigate the most serious international crimes in Myanmar regardless of the affiliation of the perpetrators. This includes crimes committed by the Myanmar security forces, as well as members of armed groups.   

Under the laws of war, people who are not taking active part in hostilities may not be targeted, and all parties should take measures to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects, such as homes, schools and hospitals.

The testimonies of witnesses and survivors of crimes are vital for us to build criminal cases against perpetrators. Equally important are people with knowledge of illegal orders or policies. We encourage anyone who has information about serious crimes committed in Rakhine State, and elsewhere in the country, to contact us through our secure and confidential channels.

Information on how to communicate securely and confidentially with the Mechanism can be found at

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM or Mechanism) was created by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018 to collect and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and other violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. It aims to facilitate justice and accountability by preserving and organizing this evidence and preparing case files that can be used by authorities to prosecute individuals in national, regional and international courts.

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