Saturday, 21 July 2018

Myanmar army admits killing Rohingya, finally

Sayeed Muhammad

For the first time since August last when the ethnic cleansing started in the Muslim-majority Rakhine state, Myanmar’s military has admitted its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 Rohingya Muslims.Their bodies were found in a mass grave in a village in troubled Rakhine state, says the country’s army in first public acknowledgement that came on the military commander-in-chief’s Facebook page.The Rohingyas found in the mass grave had threatened Buddhist villagers and were killed in retaliation, the statement said, reports The Independent. Their bodies were discovered in December near a cemetery in Inn Din village. Since the clampdown, more than 650,000 fled into Bangladesh. The UN and other groups have accused the military of widespread atrocities against Rohingya, including killings, rapes, and the burning of homes, all of which it has previously denied.The Myanmarese government has been refuting the ethnic cleansing allegation, blaming most of the violence on insurgents. “It is true that both the villagers and security forces admitted they killed the 10 Bengali terrorists. The army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement. This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists,” the statement adds. On 25 August 2017, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), launched wider attacks on Myanmar forces, leading to the mass crackdown.About 100 Rohingya children are stranded in Myanmar without their parents after military operations drove 655,000 people into Bangladesh, according to the UN.Another 60,000 Rohingya children are languishing “almost forgotten” in disease-ridden camps inside Myanmar since being driven from their homes during violence in 2012, said UNICEF.
A Myanmar government official told Reuters that authorities were not aware of any children left alone in Myanmar following the exodus to Bangladesh.

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