Suu Kyi: Army admission on killings a positive step

Randolph Lopez
January 13, 2018

The military of Myanmar has admitted that its soldiers killed 10 captured Rohingya Muslims, who they labelled "terrorists". It comes as two reporters for Reuters news agency face trial for receiving secret documents reportedly related to the massacre.

Myanmar's military said its soldiers had murdered 10 captured Muslim "terrorists" during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September, after Buddhist villagers had forced the captured men into a grave they had dug.

After two attacks in last two years each by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, whom government declared as "terrorist organization", the Tatmadaw conducted clearance operations in the northern Rakhine, which drew criticism from overseas, accusing Myanmar's security forces of committed human rights abuses.

Security personnel and some villagers admitted they killed "10 Bengali terrorists" and broke the Rules of Engagement, said the statement.

The military refers to members of the Rohingya Muslim minority as "Bengalis", a term the Rohingya reject as implying they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

The public admission of wrongdoing is the military's first since it launched "clearance operations" against ethnic Rohingya in August, prompting more than 650,000 to flee into neighboring Bangladesh in what the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

The 10 bodies were found in December in a mass grave near a cemetery in Inn Din village.

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Both the United Nations and U.S. have stated that he military's action has amounted to ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority in majority Buddhist Myanmar.

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 villagers assisted in the execution, according to the statement, because they wanted revenge on the Rohingya militants who had killed their family members in the past.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, urged the Myanmar government to "get serious about accountability by allowing the UN-appointed Fact Finding Commission to enter the country".

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

Because of the troops' order to maintain stability in areas where terrorist attacks have continued, security forces chose to kill them with the assistance of about 10 villagers including U Maung Ni's sons, said the Tatmadaw statement.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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