Burma: Military admits murdering 10 Rohingya found in mass graves

13 January, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Accounts of mass murder rape and torture from the 655,000 Rohingya who fled Myanmar’s army to Bangladesh have horrified the world

Myanmar's admission that soldiers were involved in the murder of 10 Muslims in September was an important step and the United States hoped it would be followed by more transparency and accountability, the US ambassador said on Thursday.

Soldiers and villagers were involved in the killings of "Bengali terrorists" and legal action would be taken against them, said the statement on the Facebook page of Min Aung Hlaing, the military's commander-in-chief, quotes Al-Jazeera. It comes as two reporters for Reuters news agency face trial for receiving secret documents reportedly related to the massacre.

The exact numbers and extent of the repatriation is still unclear.

The Tatmadaw, as the Burmese army is known, reported last month that it had recovered ten... The use of the term "Bengali" is the commonly used term for Rohingya in Burma as it implies they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite them living in Burma for generations.

The public admission of wrongdoing is the military's first since it launched "clearance operations" against ethnic Rohingya in August, prompting more than 650,000 to flee into neighboring Bangladesh in what the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

"We have chose to provide the aid in response to the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh to represent an global message of support so that the repatriation can be carried out promptly", said Foreign Ministry official Shinobu Yamaguchi in a statement.

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

Both the United Nations and USA have stated that he military's action has amounted to ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority in majority Buddhist Myanmar.

Angry ethnic Rakhine Buddhist villagers, who had lost relatives in militant attacks, wanted to kill the captives, and stabbed them after forcing them into a grave on the outskirts of the village.

Myanmar has been accused of blocking journalists from traveling independently to Rakhine to look first-hand at the crackdown, and to verify refugees' claims of murder, mass rape and burning of villages by security forces.

The military investigation was led by Lieutenant General Aye Win. Then members of the security forces shot them dead, the military said.

The rights group Amnesty International said the statement from the military was "a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".

"However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed", he said in a statement.


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