Myanmar: Security forces face 'action' over killings

February 9, 2018

Buddhist Villagers Confirm Role in Rohingya Killings

Fresh reports of mass graves in Rakhine, and the arrest of two Reuters journalists investigating an alleged massacre, have heaped new pressure on Suu Kyi to condemn the army, who she is in a delicate power-sharing arrangement with.

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations human rights investigator for Myanmar who has been barred from visiting the Rohingya areas, echoed that call and added in a tweet: "Independent & credible investigation needed to get to the bottom of the Inn Din massacre".

Following his meeting the Foreign Secretary will travel to Rakhine, before going on to Bangkok for a two-day visit for meetings with junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha and the Thai chairman of an advisory board on the Rohingya crisis.

It included photographs of the victims, hands bound kneeling on the floor before the killing - and of their bodies in a pit after.

Boris Johnson has urged Burmese authorities to carry out a full investigation into violence against Rohingya refugees.

The military said in January the 10 slain Rohingya men belonged to a group of 200 "terrorists" who had attacked security forces.

There has been no official comment from the government following the publication of the report.

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But Myanmar vehemently denies systematic abuses by its security officers, despite a mounting volume of evidence pointing to atrocities.

Human rights and free media advocates are demanding the release from prison of Wa Lone and Kyaw Seo Ooo who have been refused bail ahead of a trial.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday in the capital, Naypyidaw, to discuss how hundreds of thousands of Rohingya can be safely repatriated.

He told Reuters in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh on Saturday that the violence in northern Rakhine clearly amounted to ethnic cleansing but observers and monitors should be allowed into the area to establish evidence.

"Talking just to some of my fellow foreign ministers from around the world, there is so much confusion still, and I think the role of journalism in setting the record straight is absolutely vital", Johnson said.

More than 600,000 men, women and children are estimated to have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following persecution from the Burmese military in their native state of Rakhine, which began in August.

Members of Myanmar's security forces will face legal action over the hacking and shooting deaths of Rohingya Muslims in restive Rakhine state, a government spokesman said.

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