Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Myanmar: Soldiers, villagers killed Rohingya in mass grave

Myanmar: Soldiers, villagers killed Rohingya in mass grave

Government forces began a sweeping crackdown against the minority group following a Rohingya militant attack on August 25.

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

Myanmar's army chief Min Aung Hlaing as well as the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have repeatedly promised to punish anyone found guilty of abuses.

Rights group calls for independent investigation as army acknowledges soldiers killed 10 Rohingya.

On October 12, a United Nations' report based on interviews conducted in Bangladesh found that brutal attacks against Rohingyas in the northern Rakhine state have been well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving the population out of Myanmar but preventing them from returning to their homes.

In a statement, the military said that due to the fighting they could not transport the men so the detainees were executed by soldiers and local villagers instead of being handed over to police.

Ten of the attackers were captured after the security forces drove the rest off by firing into the air, according to the statement.

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The Facebook statement goes on to say that the militant attacks had destroyed their military vehicles with explosives (despite having just noted that they were armed with melee weapons).

"The military's acknowledgment that the security forces were involved in the killing of these 10 individuals is an important step", Ambassador Scot Marciel said in a forum on media freedom with journalism students and reporters in the main city Yangon.

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

Four members of the security forces also opened fire. "This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists".

The military denied all accusations of significant human rights abuses in a report released in November following an investigation.

The army's unprecedented acknowledgement came after months of denial of any wrongdoing towards the persecuted Rohingya minority.

"The full extent of the violations and crimes against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities will not be known until the UN Fact-Finding Mission and other independent observers are given unfettered access to Myanmar, and in particular Rakhine State".

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