Myanmar military denies atrocities against Rohingya Muslims

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Past investigations into human rights abuses by the Myanmar authorities gave little cause for hope of a fair and thorough inquest this time.

While the report acknowledged that battles against militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army 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".

Many recruiters are said to be from Bangladesh, the country where over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have immigrated since August. Allen said Britain will be watching closely to ensure that the Burmese security forces do not attempt to frustrate these efforts.

Some U.S. senators are now pursuing legislation to impose economic and travel sanctions on the armed forces and their business interests.

Noting that some Rohingya refugees have been trafficked outside Bangladesh, Millman said: "Most of the trafficking is taking place inside the country, which follows the pattern of trafficking globally".

"We are encouraged to see State Counsellor making important steps forward, including establishing a domestic body to deliver humanitarian and development assistance in Rakhine - although this can not substitute for United Nations agencies - and making efforts to promote interfaith and inter-communal harmony, including a recent visit to northern Rakhine", he added.

"The Government of Myanmar not only ignored warning signs. but also created and perpetuated an environment for mass violence and atrocities", reads the report, which was based on more than 200 in-depth interviews and other research carried out over the past year.

Fatema a Rohingya woman and her two children sit inside a mosquito net in Palong Khali refugee camp
Fatema a Rohingya woman and her two children sit inside a mosquito net in Palong Khali refugee camp

Ro Shi Armad, 18, has teamed up with several other families to build a flimsy-looking raft using plastic containers and bamboo.

"They're still coming, risking their lives, driven by fears of starvation and violence", Shariful Azam, a police official in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar, a narrow spit of land where the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis is unfolding.

Bob Geldof yesterday returned his Freedom of Dublin in protest against the Nobel Peace Prize victor who held the same honour. No reason for Major General Maung Maung Soe's transfer was given, but a senior officer with the military's media department told Reuters the general had no new assignment, and had been placed on a reserve list.

Parliamentarians said that the outcome constituted an insufficient response to developments in Rakhine State, and that the avoidance of key details indicated ASEAN's failure to address the drivers of the crisis.

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.

Washington, D.C. -based Refugees International called on Tillerson on Tuesday to recognize the Rohingya crisis as ethnic cleansing, a term that the USA government has so far refused to use.

His comments come as Theresa May said the current crisis in Myanmar "looks like ethnic cleansing". And it is something for which the Burmese authorities - and especially the military - must take full responsibility.

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