Rohingya crisis: Myanmar army clears itself of wrongdoing


While the report acknowledged that battles against militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, had left 376 "terrorists" dead, it also claimed security forces had "never shot at the innocent Bengalis" and "there was no death of innocent people".

The Myanmar Army has repeatedly denied committing crimes against the Rohingyas despite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein describing the situation as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

A senior US State Department official later said the top diplomat would press Myanmar's powerful army chief on Wednesday to halt the violence in Rakhine and make it safe for Rohingya to return.

The U.N. humanitarian office said Tuesday that the number of Rohingya who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 25 has risen to 618,000.

Measures proposed in the report to the global community to put an end to the violence include "sanctions on the individuals responsible for crimes in Rakhine, instituting an arms embargo on Myanmar, and referring the situation to the worldwide Criminal Court". Tillerson will also meet other members of the Myanmar government and the head of the armed forces, Min Aung Hlaing, to propose actions and address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state and to offer USA support in the democratic transition of the Asian country, reports Efe news.

"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.

He said the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya was a "worrying escalation in a protracted tragedy", according to the United Nations statement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also raised the Rohingya issue in a meeting with the ASEAN leaders, including Suu Kyi, in Manila on Tuesday.

"This is a tremendous concern to Canada and to many, many countries around the world", Trudeau told a news conference in Manila.

Since the crisis began, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has come in for intense criticism from the global community.

On Friday, the Burmese military replaced the commanding officer in Rakhine State.

The military said the investigation - which was led by Lt. Gen.

In a statement issued late Monday, the military said it had interviewed thousands of people during a monthlong investigation into the conduct of troops in western Rakhine state after Rohingya insurgents launched a series of deadly attacks there on August 25.

"This is a major humanitarian crisis which looks like ethnic cleansing", she said in a speech in London.

On Tuesday in Naypyitaw, the capital, Myanmar authorities began the first of five days of talks with Bangladesh border guard officials to discuss how to resolve the refugee crisis and other issues along their common frontier.

"After recording countless stories of horror and using satellite analysis to track the growing devastation we can only reach one conclusion: These attacks amount to crimes against humanity".

Amnesty International also dismissed the military's internal investigation and called for a United Nations fact-finding mission and for other independent investigators to be given full access to Rakhine.