On 1 November 2023 the Security Force Monitor launched a new report “Under Whose Command?” which reveals for the first time, the chain of command of the Myanmar Army over twelve years and the connections from senior army commanders to hundreds of alleged human rights abuses during that twelve year period.
The top-level findings of this research are stark:
- 64% (51 of the 79) senior army commanders that have served between 30 March 2011 and 30 March 2023 have had alleged disappearances, killings, rape or instances of torture committed by units under their command.
- 54% (28 of 51) of these commanders were promoted in rank after at least one alleged disappearance, killing, rape or instance of torture was committed by units under their command. The others could not be promoted in rank further (9), promotions could not be determined (11), or may be promoted in the future (3).
- In many areas of the country, almost every single person who ever held command had disappearances, killings, rape or instances of torture allegedly committed by units under their command.
Establishing the chain of command is one of the key elements in determining who should be held accountable for war crimes or crimes against humanity.
The Monitor’s research covers the army from 30 March 2011, when Min Aung Hlaing became Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, otherwise known as the Tatmadaw, to 30 March 2023. The report includes a Data Explorer where the careers of all of the commanders can be explored in detail. Users can see the source of every allegation as well as the research which builds the entire chain of command for each commander and alleged violation.