Myanmar government kills 1000 Rohingya Muslims in latest army crackdown

February 9, 2017 | By | Reply More

Over 1000 Rohingya Muslims have been systematically killed in a Myanmar army crackdown, according to two senior UN officials

rohingya muslimsUN dealing with refugees fleeing the violence, suggesting the death toll has been a far greater than previously reported.

United Nations officials, from two separate agencies working in Bangladesh, where nearly 70,000 Rohingya have fled in recent months, said they were concerned the outside world had not fully grasped the severity of the crisis unfolding in Myanmar‘s Rakhine State.

“A report suggest based on the documental proof until now has been of hundreds of deaths. This is probably an underestimation – we could be looking at thousands,” said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Un officials clarified, in separate interviews, cited the weight of testimony gathered by their agencies from refugees over the past four months for concluding the death toll likely exceeded 1,000.

Spokesman for Myanmar’s president, Zaw Htay, said the latest reports from military commanders were that fewer than 100 people have been killed in a counterinsurgency operation against Rohingya militants who attacked police border posts in October.

The press asked the government about the UN officials comments that the dead could number more than 1,000, he said: “Their number is much greater than our figure. We have to check on the ground.”

Nearly 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims live in apartheid-like conditions in northwestern Myanmar, where they are denied basic human rights and citizenship. They are tortured prevented from basic medical relief many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar regard them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

In addition to the information a report released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday gave accounts of mass killings and gang rapes by troops in northwestern Myanmar in recent months, which it said probably constituted crimes against humanity.

The government led by Aung San Suu Kyi said last week it would investigate the allegations in the report. It has previously denied almost all accusations of killings, rapes and arson.

But mounting evidence of atrocities by the army puts Suu Kyi, who has no control over the armed forces under a constitution written by the previous military government, in a difficult position, Myanmar-based diplomats say.

The Nobel peace prize winner has been criticised in the West for her silence on the issue, undermining the goodwill she built up as a democracy champion under years of junta rule and threatening international support. Challenging the generals, however, could put Myanmar‘s democratic transition at risk.

Counting the dead

Independent verification of what has been happening in Myanmar is extremely difficult as the military has cut off access to northwestern Rakhine.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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