Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Burmese army admits to killing Rohingya

Ban upheld for marriage between Bangladeshis and Rohingya Burmese army admits to killing Rohingya
Patty Aguilar | 11 January, 2018, 18:15

Rights groups said Myanmar's military involvement in the deaths of 10 Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine State, admitted by the commander in chief, is just a fraction of the abuses for which security forces are culpable. Myanmar denies that, saying its forces were carrying out legitimate counterinsurgency operations.

Inn Din villager Wal Marjan, 30, said they were attacked by Buddhist mobs flanked by soldiers, who later "selected 10 to 15 men to attend a meeting".

According to the UNICEF, 60,000 Rohingya children remain almost forgotten and trapped in appalling camps in central Rakhine where the shelters teeter on stilts above garbage and excrement.

The military launched an investigation into the incident last month after the mass grave was found in the village's cemetery. The army appointed a senior officer to investigate.

The captives should have been handed over to the police, in line with procedure, but the militants were attacking "continuously" and had destroyed two military vehicles with explosives, it said.

In a statement on Facebook, Myanmar's military commander, Min Aung Hlaing, said the slain Rohingya were "Bengali terrorists" who were part of a larger group of 200 that attacked Myanmese soldiers with sticks and swords past year.

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Ten of the attackers were captured after the security forces drove the rest off by firing into the air, according to the statement on Facebook, which the military often uses to make announcements.

Fortify Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch described the admission that ethnic Rakhine villagers and security forces killed 10 Royingya Muslims in Inn Dinn village on September 2, 2018 as the "tip of the iceberg", and urged an international investigation.

The United States also declared the violence against Rohingya Muslims to be "ethnic cleansing" and President Donald Trump's administration announced on December 21 that it sanctioned the country's Maj.

"It was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was chose to kill them", the military said, referring to the findings of the investigating team.

Anti-Rohingya sentiment is high not only among the military, but the general population, among whom a form of Buddhist nationalism has seen a resurgence since the end of military rule.

"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing", James Gomez, Amnesty International's Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said. More than 6,47,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, after violence broke out in Rakhine state.

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