Mil­i­tary’s probe into Ro­hingya atroc­i­ties branded a ‘white-wash’

Cape Argus - - WORLD -

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.

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