Military’s probe into Rohingya atrocities branded a ‘white-wash’
YANGON: Amnesty International has poured scorn on a Myanmar military investigation into alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.
The human rights group branded it a “whitewash” and called for UN and independent investigators to be allowed into the country.
More than 600 000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August, driven out by a counter-insurgency clearance operation in Rakhine state that a top UN official has called a classic case of “ethnic cleansing”.
Accusations of organised mass rape and other crimes against humanity were levelled at the Myanmar military on Sunday by another senior UN official, who had toured camps in Bangladesh where Rohingya refugees have taken shelter.
Pramila Patten, the UN special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict, said she would raise accusations against the Myanmar military with the International Criminal Court.
The military – the Tatmadaw – has consistently claimed innocence and posted the findings of an internal investigation on the Facebook page of its commander-in-chief, Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing.
It said it had found no cases where its soldiers had shot and killed Rohingya villagers, raped women or tortured prisoners. It denied that security forces had torched Rohingya villages or used “excessive force”.
The military’s self-exoneration came as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepared to visit Myanmar today for talks with the country’s leaders.
Tillerson and Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of a less than two-year-old civilian administration that has no control over the military, met in Manila on Monday where they were attending a summit.