World Bulletin / News Desk
A leading rights group on Tuesday derided as “laughable” and “pathetic” the Myanmar military’s claims that there was no evidence of abuses by soldiers in Rakhine state.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the military’s report into allegations made by a wide range of governments, rights groups and the UN was concocted to fit Myanmar’s “manufactured narrative”.
A security crackdown launched in the northern part of Rakhine on Aug. 25 has led to more than 617,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.
The refugees have told how the Myanmar military conducted a systematic campaign of murder against Rohingya men, women and children, including babies.
The crackdown has been referred to as “ethnic cleansing” by the UN, among others.
Speaking in September, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali said around 3,000 Rohingya had been killed in the crackdown.
The military, known as the Tatmadaw, has also been widely accused of mass rape, looting, torching villages and other crimes against humanity.
However, in a statement issued by military chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing late Monday cleared soldiers of all the allegations.
“What’s laughable, and frankly pathetic, is Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and his fellow Tatmadaw commanders think that this so-called investigation has any credibility whatsoever with the UN and other governments that are demanding accountability for the military’s crimes perpetrated on the Rohingya,” Phil Robertson, HRW’s regional deputy director, told Anadolu Agency.
“All this report shows is how totally unrepentant the Myanmar military is for what they have done.”
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