Myanmar's Rohingya report 'absurd', rights group says

Bob Geldof said he does not want to be associated with the award while it is also held by Aung San Suu Kyi

Bob Geldof said he does not want to be associated with the award while it is also held by Aung San Suu Kyi

The report contradicts consistent statements from ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees now in Bangladesh - some with gunshot wounds and severe burns - who have described massacres, rape, looting and the burning of hundreds of villages by Myanmar's army and civilian mobs.

Myanmar's army released a report late on Monday that found "no deaths of innocent people" after deadly attacks by Rohingya rebels on several police posts in northern Rakhine state on August 25 sparked a brutal military campaign.

The United Nations Chief speaking at the meeting in front of the national leaders he has expressed his concerns over the ongoing Rohingya Muslim crisis in Myanmar.

Human Rights Watch said it is time for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Myanmar's authorities.

"The Burmese military's absurd effort to absolve itself of mass atrocities underscores why an independent global investigation is needed to establish the facts and identify those responsible", said Human Rights Watch's Brad Adams in a statement on Tuesday.

With US senators in Washington pressing to impose economic sanctions and travel restrictions targeting the military and its business interests, Tillerson is expected to deliver a stern message to Burma's generals, while supporting the transition to democracy.

He said the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya was a "worrying escalation in a protracted tragedy", according to the United Nations statement.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque also said Suu Kyi pledged on Monday that repatriation of the displaced people would begin within three weeks after Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh.

The conservative ASEAN, which includes Myanmar and other countries critical of its handling of the Rohingya crisis like Malaysia, has refused to formally discuss the crisis as a bloc in a strongly critical manner.

During his visit to the Myanmar capital Naypyidaw, his first to the country, Tillerson pledged an additional $47 million in aid for refugees, bringing the total the USA has earmarked for the crisis to $87 million since August. Bangladesh considers them Burmese.

Since the crisis began, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has come in for intense criticism from the global community.

The Burmese government insists military action in Rakhine is a proportionate response to violence by militants. No reason for Major General Maung Maung Soe's transfer was given, but a senior officer with the military's media department told Reuters the general had no new assignment, and had been placed on a reserve list.

In a statement issued late Monday, the military said it had interviewed thousands of people during a monthlong investigation into the conduct of troops in western Rakhine state after Rohingya insurgents launched a series of deadly attacks there on August 25.

"This is a major humanitarian crisis which looks like ethnic cleansing", she said in a speech in London.

"After recording countless stories of horror and using satellite analysis to track the growing devastation we can only reach one conclusion: These attacks amount to crimes against humanity".

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