Yangon, Myanmar, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- The Burmese Army said it is investigating “possible broad patterns” of abuses committed before and during the campaign orchestrated by the military in August 2017 against the Rohingya in the west of the country, which triggered the exodus of this ethnic group.
In a statement, the army acknowledged for the first time that after reviewing a report drawn up by a government-backed commission “they are investigating possible broad patterns of violations between 2016 and 2017 in the northern Rakhine region,” where the Rohingya were based.
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh as a result of the military operations and at least 10,000 people were killed, according to United Nations data, during the military operation launched in response to an attack by a guerrilla group.
The operation – which reports murders, rapes, torture and burning of entire villages – was described by UN experts as “an example of textbook ethnic cleansing” with “signs of genocide.”
The army denies the accusation, but in the statement published Tuesday in government media “The Global New Light of Myanmar,” it announced in addition to the investigation, the creation of a military court to try troops for their involvement in incidents in some villages.
The military, however, did not provide details on the perpetrators, crimes or convictions.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a case against Myanmar for an alleged crime of genocide against the Muslim minority, following a complaint filed by the African state of Gambia.
That UN Court ordered Myanmar in early January to take precautionary measures to protect the Rohingya and prevent any act contemplated in the 1948 Genocide Convention against that community.
The Burmese authorities do not recognize Rohingya citizenship, and are considered Bengali immigrants, while imposing multiple restrictions on them, including restrictions of movement. EFE-EPA