New UN Report Chronicles Abuses Against Myanmar Rohingya
The report describes "area clearance operations" - gunfire and grenades dropped on villages from helicopters - which may have killed hundreds.
The country's government and its de-factor leader Aung San Suu Kyi have previously dismissed claims of rights abuses and insisted that the security forces follow the rule of law. "I called upon her to use every means available to exert pressure on the military and the security services to end this operation". "If evidences of the violations are found we will definitely take action on them", she told CNN via email.
In Myanmar's former capital, Yangon, presidential spokesman Zaw Htay said: "These are extremely serious allegations, and we are deeply concerned".
"Numerous testimonies collected from people from different village tracts...confirmed that the army deliberately set fire to houses with families inside, and in other cases pushed Rohingyas into already burning houses", the report read.
"The Investigation Commission headed by the Vice President will look into it".
For his part, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Al-Bar, Special Envoy of OIC's Secretary General for Myanmar, stated to KUNA that due to the ship's immensity, the Myanmar government allowed the ship to anchor in Yangon city instead of Sittwe city, capital of Rakhine State, where most Rohingya minorities live.
One mother recounted how her five-year-old daughter was murdered while trying to protect her from rape.
The allegations in the damning report released February 3 were compiled after interviews with more than 200 Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar, which is also sometimes called Burma, to neighboring Bangladesh. Plans to deliver the remainder to Rakhine state, where the Rohingya are located, and across the border in Bangladesh, appeared blocked.
An estimated 69,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since the unrest began on October 9.
But the most gruesome accusations, including rape and other sexual violence, were made against the army, United Nations investigators said.
Almost half of those interviewed said a family member had been killed or had disappeared.
While denying observers and independent journalists access to the conflict area, officials have accused Rohingya residents and refugees of fabricating stories of killings, beatings, mass rape and arson in collaboration with insurgents who they say are Rohingya terrorists with links to Islamists overseas. "The gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the worldwide community", he said [press release].
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British PM Theresa May
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