Myanmar ends military operation in Rakhine
Online Desk:Myanmar’s military has finished a clearance operation in the country’s troubled Rakhine State successfully, government officials said, ending a four-month sweep that the United Nations said may amount to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.
The security operation had been under way since nine policemen were killed in attacks on security posts near the Bangladesh border on October 9. Almost 69,000 Rohingyas have since fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to UN estimates.
The violence has renewed international criticism that Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has done too little to help members of the Muslim minority.
The government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has not confessed almost all allegations of human rights abuses in Rakhine, including mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims, and said the operation was a lawful counterinsurgency campaign.
‘The situation in northern Rakhine has now stabilised. The clearance operations led by the military have ceased, the curfew has been eased and there remains only a police presence to maintain the peace,’ newly-appointed national security advisor Thaung Tun was quoted as saying in a statement released by State Counselor’s Office late on Wednesday.
‘There can be no excuse for excessive force, for abuses of fundamental human rights and basic criminality. We have shown that we are ready to act where there is clear evidence of abuses,’ he told a group of diplomats and UN representatives in a meeting, according to the statement.
Two senior officials from Myanmar’s President Office and the ministry of information confirmed that the army operation in northern Rakhine had ended but said the military force remained in the region to maintain ‘peace and security’.
Myanmar military did not immediately respond to requests for comments.