Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Myanmar Army again denies abuses against Rohingya

Myanmar Army again denies abuses against Rohingya

Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for decades but many in the country's Buddhist majority see them as foreigners.

The latest military operations began late August in response to a series of assaults by a group of Rohingya insurgents on police posts, causing more than 614,000 people, majority members of the minority community, to flee to Bangladesh, reports Efe news. Denmark has allocated an additional $5.2 million to the existing country programme which includes agricultural education, climate change adaptation and human rights support to the local people in Cox's Bazar. Burmese security forces and Buddhist vigilantes have been accused by many in the worldwide community of mass killings, arson and rape.

There were reports of sexual violence against Rohingya women and entire villages being burned to the ground.

Contradicting the army report, several Rohingya who fled violence have already detailed accounts of mass killings, brutal beatings, torture and rape against Rohingya children, women, and men.

Many Rohingya have died making the journey from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Amnesty International accused Myanmar of sweeping "serious violations" against the Rohingya under the carpet.

The U.S.is said to be considering sanctions on Myanmar's regime in response to the alleged crimes, and the State Department withdrew aid to the Burmese military last month.

"The Burmese authorities have once again shown that they can't and won't credibly investigate themselves".

"The Burmese military's absurd effort to absolve itself of mass atrocities underscores why an independent global investigation is needed to establish the facts and identify those responsible", said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.

Nevertheless, Burma has denied access to a specially created United Nations fact-finding mission as well as many global humanitarian organisations to operate in affected areas of the Rakhine.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has come under increasing global pressure to act to prevent further tragedies from occurring.

A senior adviser to Suu Kyi named Win Htein was this week was quoted by the Washington Post as saying: "the extremists incited villagers to go away saying the Burma army would come and kill them. It's very much what people expect of Canada and it comes as no surprise when we bring it up", Trudeau said. But Tillerson, who has repeatedly condemned the violence, has stopped short of labeling it as ethnic cleansing.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to meet later this month with Suu Kyi, who has been chastised over her handling of the crisis, which she once blamed on "fake news".

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