In rare move, Myanmar military probes Rohingya abuses

Armed forces say they will set up investigation group into claims of human rights violations

In rare move, Myanmar military probes Rohingya abuses

World Bulletin / News Desk

Myanmar’s powerful military vowed on Thursday to investigate reports of soldiers committing human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

Myanmar security forces have been accused of various abuses including gang-rape, killings, beatings and disappearances in the Maungdaw area of northern Rakhine State which has been under military lockdown since early October. 

The Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar armed forces on Thursday announced the formation of an investigation group with senior military officials “to ascertain whether there are unlawful acts, including human rights violations, committed by the security forces in conducting area clearance operations”.

“Legal action will be taken against anyone who breaks any one of the directives,” the statement added.

Such a move is rare in Myanmar, once ruled by a repressive military junta for half a century. Despite the first elected civilian government led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi taking power in March last year, the military still controls three key cabinet ministries due to the junta-draft constitution.

A recent report commissioned by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has detailed how soldiers and border police committed rights violations against Rohingya civilians, which could amount to crimes against humanity. 

The Myanmar government said the Investigation Commission led by Vice President Myint Swe is probing the new allegations in the report, and vowed to take legal action against any perpetrators if there is clear evidence of human rights abuses. 

However, Hussein said the commission is "not a credible option" to investigate anti-Rohingya atrocities.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Şubat 2017, 18:58