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Military Led Investigation Team Visits Violence-Hit Rohingya Regions

By Rohingya Eye | February 15, 2017

Maungdaw — The Myanmar military-led Investigation Team has recently visited Rohingya villages in northern Maungdaw and ‘Koetankauk’ village in Rathedaung Township to investigate into the crimes against humanity committed by its own troop members after October 9, 2016, sources have reported.

The Investigation Team was formed with high-ranking military officials in the wake of the report by UN OHCHR — detailing the Devastating Cruelties by the Myanmar’s armed forces against the Rohingya population in Myanmar’s Rakhine Province — and chaired by the Lieutenant General Aye Win.

On Tuesday, 14th February 2017, the investigation team visited the village of Du’dan (Ludain) in northern Maungdaw, where some selective numbers of Rohingya men and women were allowed to talk to the investigation team members. Many other victims were denied from neighboring villages were denied access to meet with the investigation team by the heavy security deployed in the region.

“Women that managed to meet with the investigation team explained them how they were raped and molested by the troops. The men also explained how they were tortured and many their villages were shot dead at sight.
It was a two-hour meeting and so they could only explain that much. From their conversations (i.e. the conversations among the military officials during the meeting), it’s likely that they are going to shift the blames on the Border Guard Police (BGP) for the crimes of the military” said a Rohingya man in the region asking not to be identified.

Earlier on February 11, the investigation team visited the village of ‘Koetankauk’ locally known as ‘Dounsay’ in Rathedaung and met with the villagers. The villagers explained the team about the atrocity crimes committed by the military against the villagers and also said their properties were plundered during the so-called ‘Regional Clearance Operation.’

“Four villagers said that their motorcycles were illegally seized by the BGP and the military. So, the Investigation Team ordered the BGP at the ‘Koetankauk’ camp to compensate the four victims with Kyat 1.1 Million.
“However, when they went to the BGP camp on the next day for the compensation, the BGP beat them up and shackled them for the whole day. Before their release, the BGP offered them Kyat 0.6 Million instead of Kyat 1.1 Million. So the four villagers returned home without taking any money”, said a local villager of Koetankauk.

The military-led Investigation Team was formed in response to the calls by the UN Officials and other prominent human rights advocates around the globe to form an ‘Independent International Investigation’ team under the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council to investigate into the crimes of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya population in Arakan (Rakhine) State as reported in the UN OHCHR report on February 3. Hence, the formation of the military-led investigation team to investigate into the crimes committed by the its troops under its own commands leads to a belief that the Myanmar military is attempting to conceal the crimes by its troops and ward off any international call for an Independent investigation.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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