In the early hours of 20th January, two ethnic Kachin teachers, Maran Lu Ra (20 years old) and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin (21 years old), were brutally raped and killed by Burmese Army soldiers who had recently arrived in their village.
The British government has said that ending sexual violence in conflict is one of their top foreign policy goals. Yet when it comes to Burma, instead of taking action to end impunity, they simply say the Burmese government should investigate, knowing full well they have never conducted a genuine investigation.
There are now around 120 documented cases of rape and sexual violence by the Burmese Army since 2010, and this is believed to be just the tip of the iceberg, as most cases are never reported because of fear of stigma and reprisals. In none of these cases has a soldier been convicted and jailed, and even an investigation is incredibly rare.
Despite this, instead of taking the practical action which is recommended in its own Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, the British government only calls on the Burmese government to investigate these crimes.
The British government could immediately take three practical steps to help stop rape in Burma, but so far they have refused to do so.