Suu Kyi Says Rohingya Mass Grave Investigation 'Positive'

Erika Holt
January 13, 2018

Myanmar's state-run media on Wednesday said authorities have started the land work to construct buildings to accommodate returned refugees from Bangladesh in northern Rakhine, where refugees will be temporarily placed after their citizenship is scrutinized.

The request comes after Myanmar military admitted that some of its soldiers were involved in the murder of 10 captured Rohingya men in western Rakhine state in September previous year and buried them in a mass grave near Inn Din village in Maungdaw township.

The military commission tasked with investigating the mass grave near Inn Din determined that soldiers and local residents from the majority Buddhist community killed 10 members of the Rohingya minority, who are mostly Muslims, believing them to be members of the rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. "A Myanmar government spokesman said in response to ARSA's statement that sometimes "terrorists and villagers were allied" in attacks" against security forces.

As per Anadolu news agency, the request comes after the military admitted to the killing of 10 Rohingyas in the war-ravaged Rakhine state.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday it was "positive" that the country's military was taking responsibility for the actions of troops.

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Suu Kyi made the comments Friday during a joint news conference with Japan's foreign minister. "We are thankful to Japan for its willingness to support the needs both for short term and long term", Suu Kyi told the joint news conference. The killings took place on September 2, 2017, in the village of Inn Din, situated to the north of Sittwe, the capital of the state.

In a statement, the European Union said, "These reports of brutal killings confirm the urgent need for a throughout and credible investigation".

More than 655,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25 past year, escaping a military crackdown in the Rakhine state, which many countries and human rights bodies have described as ethnic cleansing.

The UN and U.S. have accused Myanmar's army of ethnic cleansing, with the UN rights chief saying it may even be guilty of genocide.

Suu Kyi rarely speaks to the media and has said little in public about the crisis in the western state. "So doing this investigation is a deterrent so that similar cases don't happen later".

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