Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement and video on Tuesday that she would examine reports of "alleged coercive acts having resulted in the forced displacement of the Rohingya people, including deprivation of fundamental rights, killing, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, destruction and looting."
Myanmar's military has been accused of a brutal crackdown on Rohingya in Rakhine state that has sent more than 700,000 people fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017.
The decision to conduct a preliminary examination comes two weeks after judges at the court gave Bensouda permission to investigate Myanmar even though it is not a party to the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. Judges ruled Myanmar could be investigated because the case involves a border crossing from one state not an adherent to the court, Myanmar, to one that is, Bangladesh.
'Total disregard for civilian life': UN
Bensouda's announcement came as UN investigators released a report reiterating earlier accusations that Myanmar's military may be responsible for "genocide" and other crimes against the stateless Rohingya.
"It is hard to fathom the level of brutality of Tatmadaw operations, its total disregard for civilian life," Marzuki Darusman, the head of the UN fact-finding mission, told the UN Human Rights Council, referring to the nation's military.