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Myanmar's Suu Kyi Says Army Admission on Killings a Positive Step

14 January 2018, 01:48 | Taylor George

A Myanmar soldier stands near Maungdaw north of Rakhine state Myanmar Sept 27 2017. Reuters

A Myanmar soldier stands near Maungdaw north of Rakhine state Myanmar Sept 27 2017. Reuters

The Myanmar military has admitted to killing the 10 people, claiming they were militants.

The Rakhine state is home to a majority of Muslims in Myanmar, who have been denied citizenship and long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the extremists.

"We hereby declare that these 10 innocent Rohingya civilians found in the said mass grave in Inn Dinn Village Tract were neither ARSA nor had any association with ARSA", a statement posted on the group's Twitter page said.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called the military's investigation into the deaths of Rohingya Muslims found in a mass grave a "positive indication", state media reported Saturday. The army, which is not under the control of the civilian government, launched a sweeping counteroffensive in northern Rakhine in response to Rohingya militant attacks on August 25, triggering an exodus of more than 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has been collecting information on Rohingya refugees' views on return, in its weekly operational update from December 27, 2017 to January 7, 2017, on the refugee crisis said that "some refugees have also asked for reassurances about UNHCR's involvement in the process".

The Japanese government decided earlier Friday to give 330 million yen (95 million baht) in emergency grant aid to Myanmar to assist with rebuilding living conditions for "displaced persons returning to Myanmar from Bangladesh" in accordance with that agreement.

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Amnesty International in a statement this week described the military's admission of the killings as the "tip of the iceberg" and urged an international investigation.

"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".

Myanmar and Bangladesh reached a deal in November previous year on repatriating the refugees.

In November, Kono visited a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, southeastern Bangladesh, where Rohingya had fled.

According to news report, Kono made the comments in a joint news conference with Myanmar's de facto, leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in the capital Naypyitaw.



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