By Simon Cameron-Moore
YANGON (Reuters) – Human rights group Amnesty International
poured scorn on a Myanmar army investigation into alleged
atrocities towards Rohingya Muslims, branding it a “whitewash”
and calling for U.N. and unbiased investigators to be allowed
into the nation.
More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late
August, pushed out by a counter-insurgency clearance operation in
Rakhine State high U.N. official has referred to as a basic case
of “ethnic cleansing”.
Accusations of organized mass rape and different crimes towards
humanity have been leveled on the Myanmar army on Sunday by
one other senior U.N. official, who had toured camps in Bangladesh
the place Rohingya refugees have taken shelter.
Myanmar’s army has persistently protested its innocence, and
on Monday it posted the findings of an inside investigation on
the Facebook web page of its commander in chief, Senior General Min
It stated it had discovered no situations the place its troopers had shot and
killed Rohingya villagers, raped girls or tortured prisoners. It
denied that safety forces had torched Rohingya villages or used
The army’s self-exoneration got here as U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson ready to go to Myanmar on Wednesday for talks
Both Tillerson and Aung San Suu Kyi, the pinnacle of a lower than
two-year-old civilian administration that has no management over the
army, are attending a regional summit in Manila.
With U.S. senators again in Washington urgent to impose financial
sanctions and journey restrictions concentrating on the army and its
enterprise pursuits, Tillerson is predicted to ship a stern
message to Myanmar’s generals, whereas supporting the transition to
Suu Kyi mentioned the Rohingya disaster with U.N. Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres on the Southeast Asian leaders’ summit in
“The secretary-general highlighted that strengthened efforts to
guarantee humanitarian entry, secure, dignified, voluntary and
sustained returns, in addition to true reconciliation between
communities, can be important,” a U.N. consultant stated in
temporary word on the assembly.
Coincidently on Friday, the commanding officer in Rakhine State,
Major General Maung Maung Soe was changed. No motive for his
switch was given, however a senior officer with the army’s
media division instructed Reuters, Maung Maung Soe had no new
task, and had been positioned on a reserve record.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, Katina Adams, stated
the United States was conscious of reviews of the overall’s
“We stay gravely involved by persevering with reviews of violence
and human rights abuses dedicated by Burmese safety forces and
vigilantes. Those chargeable for abuses should be held
accountable,” Adams stated.
Amnesty International dismissed the army’s inside
investigation and referred to as for a U.N. truth discovering mission and
different unbiased investigators to be given full entry to
“Once once more, Myanmar’s army is making an attempt to brush critical
violations towards the Rohingya below the carpet,” James Gomez,
Amnesty International’s regional director for Southeast Asia and
the Pacific, stated in an announcement launched late Monday.
Amnesty stated: “there may be overwhelming proof that the army
has murdered and raped Rohingya and burned their villages to the
“After recording numerous tales of horror and utilizing satellite tv for pc
evaluation to trace the rising devastation we will solely attain one
conclusion: these assaults quantity to crimes towards humanity.”
MAY CALLS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
Speaking in Dhaka, Pramila Patten, the U.N. particular
consultant of the secretary-general on sexual violence in
battle, stated she would increase accusations towards the Myanmar
army with the International Criminal Court within the Hague.
“Sexual violence is being commanded, orchestrated and perpetrated
by the armed forces of Myanmar, in any other case referred to as the Tatmadaw,”
Patten stated following a three-day tour of the Rohingya refugee
camps within the Cox’s Bazar area of Bangladesh.
British Prime Minister Theresa May additionally stated in overseas coverage
handle on Monday that Myanmar’s army ought to be referred to as to
“This is a serious humanitarian disaster which appears to be like like ethnic
cleaning,” she stated in a speech delivered on the Lord Mayor’s
Banquet within the City of London.
“And it’s one thing for which the Burmese authorities – and
particularly the army – should take full accountability.”
The authorities in principally Buddhist Myanmar, which is often known as
Burma, regards the Rohingya as unlawful immigrants from
Suu Kyi’s failure to talk out strongly over the Rohingya’s
plight has extensively broken the Nobel peace prize winner’s
status as a stateswoman.
Many diplomats, nonetheless, imagine Myanmar’s fragile transition to
democracy can be jeopardized if she publicly criticized the
A army junta dominated Myanmar for 49 years and the generals have
retained their authority over protection, safety and border points
below a structure drafted whereas they held energy.
(Additional reporting Wa Lone in YANGON and David Brunnstrom in