Tillerson, in Myanmar, calls for credible probe of atrocities

Tillerson, in Myanmar, calls for credible probe of atrocities
From Reuters - November 15, 2017

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Wednesday for a credible investigation into reports of human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims committed by Myanmars security forces after a meeting with it civilian and military leaders.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since late August, driven out by a military counter-insurgency clearance operation in Buddhist-majority Myanmars Rakhine State that a top U.N. official has described as a textbook case of ethnic cleansing.

Were deeply concerned by credible reports of wide-spread atrocities committed by Myanmars security forces and by vigilantes who were unrestrained by the security forces during the recent violence in Rakhine State, Tillerson told a joint news conference with Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of a civilian administration that is less than two years old and shares power with the military.

Were also distressed by the fact that hundreds of thousands, many women and children have been forced to flee to Bangladesh.

Tillerson called for a credible and impartial investigation and said those who committed abuses should be held responsible.

He earlier held talks with the commander of Myanmars armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

It is incumbent upon the military and security forces to respect these commitments of the civilian government; to assist the government in implementing them and to ensure the safety and security of all people in Rakhine state, Tillerson said.

In posting on his Facebook page, Myanmars military supremo said he had explained to Tillerson the true situation in Rakhine, the reasons why Muslims fled, how the military was working with the government to deliver aid and the progress made for a repatriation process to be agreed with Bangladesh.

The Myanmar military launched its clearance operation in Rakhine after an army base and 30 police posts were attacked on Aug. 25 by Rohingya militants, killing about a dozen members of the security forces.

Tillerson condemned the attacks on Myanmar security forces.


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