Myanmar denies Rohingya Muslims ethnic cleansing

Myanmar government spokesman said action would be taken against soldiers who were involved in the killing of captured Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. ( Reuteurs)

NAIROBI—A government spokesman has said action will be taken against 10 members of Myanmar’s security forces in connection with the killing of captured Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

A report published by Reuters laid out events that led to the killings of the Rohingya in the northern Rakhine village of Inn Din who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbors and soldiers.

Zaw Htay, said “action according to the law” would be taken against seven soldiers, three members of the police force and six villagers as part of an army investigation was ongoing.

On January 10, the military said the 10 Rohingya men belonged to a group of 200 “terrorists” who had attacked security forces.

Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead, the military said, adding that it would take action against those involved.

The report has prompted demands from the US state department for investigations into the massacre and called for the release of two journalists who were arrested while working on working on the report.

Britain’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson says the violence in northern Rakhine clearly amounted to ethnic cleansing.

The United States and the United Nations have also called the military campaign against the Rohingya “ethnic cleansing”. Myanmar denies ethnic cleansing, and says its security forces mounted legitimate counter-insurgency clearance operations.

Nearly 690,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine state and crossed into southern Bangladesh since August, when attacks on security posts by insurgents triggered a military crackdown that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide.

The Rohingya are often described as “the world’s most persecuted minority”.

They are an ethnic group, the majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the Buddhist Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya in the Southeast Asian country.

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