Myanmar army to investigate Rakhine operations


In this picture taken on September 27, 2017, Myanmar soldiers stand guard in Maungdaw in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state. Photo: AFP

Myanmar's military says it is investigating its operations in violence-wracked Rakhine state, where the United Nations has accused troops of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims.

In the last seven weeks, more than half a million Rohingya have fled Rakhine for Bangladesh, shocking the globe with accounts of Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs murdering and raping civilians before torching their villages to the ground.

The army has steadfastly denied the charges and insists it is targeting Rohingya terrorists who attacked police posts on August 25, killing around a dozen security officers. 

It has also blocked independent access to the conflict zone, triggering condemnation from the UN, which has accused the army of leading a systematic campaign to expel the Muslim minority.

The military is now preparing to publish results of its own internal investigation into the conflict, according to statements released Friday.

"An investigation team led by Defence Services Inspector General Lt-Gen Aye Win is inspecting security forces and military units (to see) whether they perform the assigned duties or not," said a statement from the army's "True News Information Team".

A separate post published on the army chief's Facebook page suggested troops would be cleared of abuses, saying: "it was found that all actions conformed to the law."

"Measures are being taken to make a comprehensive report," added the statement on General Min Aung Hlaing's Facebook page.

An army update on Saturday said security officers were continuing "clearance operations" in Maungdaw after finding a hand-made mine near a mosque in Zin Paing Nyar village. 

The post blamed Rohingya terrorists for planting the explosive.

© AFP

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