Nay Pyi Taw, Aug 7 (IANS) Myanmar authorities have denied committing crimes against against the Rohingya Muslim minority during a 2016 military operation as alleged by the UN, state media reported on Monday.
The government’s investigation into the army’s campaign, which began following the armed assault in October that killed nine border patrol officers, concluded that the security forces did not commit abuses against the minority, reports Efe news.
The Myanmar army responded to the attack, which was attributed to a Rohingya rebel group called Harakah al-Yaqin, with a large-scale security operation that led to at least 74,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh.
Such moves triggered the UN and other organisations to condemn numerous abuses against civilians, including murders, rapes and burning houses.
Myanmar Vice President Myint Swe said there is no evidence of crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing while presenting the result of his government’s investigation Sunday, according to the state-run daily The Global New Light of Myanmar.
Myint Swe rejected the denunciations pointed in the report released in February by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which led to the establishment of Commission of Inquiry, to which the Myanmar authorities have banned access to the country.
The report from the Myanmar government’s commission, however, accused the UN investigation of exaggerating the death toll as well as the numbers of the wounded and damages caused by security forces, and criticised it for not placing importance on the damages caused by the rebel’s attack.
More than a million Rohingyas live in Rakhine, where they have suffered discrimination since the outbreak of sectarian violence in 2012 that left at least 160 people dead, and confined around 120,000 of them to camps for displaced people.
Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingyas as citizens, shun them as Bangladeshi immigrants and impose multiple constraints on them including restrictions on movement.