Mon, Feb 12, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Soldiers and police to face action over killings in Myanmar

BRITISH PRESSURE:Boris Johnson met yesterday with Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw to push for a probe into the violence against Rohingya Muslims

Reuters

A handout photograph from the Burmese Ministry of Information shows State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, left, shaking hands with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson in Naypyidaw yesterday.

Photo: AFP / Myanmar Ministry of Information

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 government spokesman said yesterday, adding it was not related to a Reuters report on the incident.

Reuters on Friday published a report laying out events that led up to the killing of 10 Rohingya men in the village of Inn Din who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbors and soldiers.

Government spokesman Zaw Htay said that “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 that was initiated before the Reuters report was published.

The military on Jan. 10 said the 10 Rohingya men belonged to a group of 200 “terrorists” who had attacked security forces, adding that Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead.

The military’s version of events was contradicted by accounts given to Reuters by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.

Buddhist villagers reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in Inn Din and Rohingya witnesses said that soldiers plucked the 10 from among hundreds of men, women and children who had sought safety on a nearby beach.

The Reuters investigation of the Inn Din massacre was what prompted the arrest of two of its reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were detained on Dec. 12 last year for allegedly obtaining confidential documents.

In related news, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson, who is on a four-day tour of Asia, yesterday stopped off in Myanmar to press Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on the need for an independent probe into violence in Rakhine State. They met in the capital, Naypyidaw.

The meeting followed Johnson’s visit to a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where nearly 700,000 Rohingya have sought sanctuary since fleeing Myanmar since August last year.

Johnson and Aung San Suu Kyi “discussed in an open and friendly manner the latest developments in Rakhine State, including planning for the reception of returnees who fled,” the Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Facebook post.

Additional reporting by AFP

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