Myanmar’s military admits killing 10 Rohingya
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/11/18, 10:48 am
Rights activists have called for more investigations into Myanmar’s military after it admitted for the first time that security forces killed 10 Rohingya Muslims found in mass graves. In a statement Wednesday, military officials said security forces and some Buddhist villagers killed the Rohingya in a retaliatory attack after they threatened the villagers. Their remains were found in a mass grave in Inn Din village in northern Rakhine state. The military said it will take action against the perpetrators. Security forces in Myanmar, also known as Burma, launched clearance operations in August against the Rohingya in Rakhine, sending more than 650,000 fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh. Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders claims at least 6,700 Rohingya died in the unrest. Myanmar’s military long denied accusations of mass killings and blocked media access to some of the worst-hit regions. The military on Wednesday charged two Reuters journalists “for collecting important secret papers” from two policemen in Rakhine state. “It may not be a coincidence that this admission was issued on the same day that the two Reuters journalists, who had reportedly been investigating that incident and grave, were formally charged under the Official Secrets Act,” Richard Horsey, a Myanmar consultant with the International Crisis Group, noted on Twitter. James Gomez, the Southeast Asia regional director with Amnesty International, called the military’s admission a “sharp departure” from its usual stance but noted the 10 deaths amounted to “the tip of the iceberg” of what happened in Rakhine.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.