Suu Kyi says Rohingya mass grave investigation "positive"

13 January, 2018, 16:46 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Authorities exhume 10 bodies from a shallow grave in Inn Din village Maungdaw Township on 19 December 2017

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 a year ago and buried them in a mass grave near Inn Din village in Maungdaw township.

While Foreign Minister Taro Kono is visiting Myanmar, the Japanese government announced a grant of $3 million to Myanmar's government to help facilitate the repatriation of the Rohingya.

According to an agreement signed by Myanmar and Bangladesh in November 2017, Myanmar is scheduled to begin repatriations of refugees by January 22.

"We have made a decision to provide the aid in response to the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh to represent an worldwide message of support so that the repatriation can be carried out promptly", said Foreign Ministry official Shinobu Yamaguchi in a statement.

The Rakhine state is home to a majority of Muslims in Myanmar, who have been denied citizenship and long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the extremists.

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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein had decribed the offensive - that led to the exodus of around 650,000 Rohingyas to neighboring Bangladesh - as ethnic cleansing.

Kono also said Japan plans to give further aid of $20 million to improve humanitarian conditions and development in Rakhine state.

Asked about the admission on Wednesday by Myanmar's military that its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 captured Rohingya during clashes previous year, Suu Kyi stressed the importance of the rule of law and said the military will take responsibility. "The money will be paid in a timely manner based on the progress of repatriation", Yamaguchi added.

Myanmar does not consider the Rohingyas to be citizens, treating them mostly as Bangladeshi immigrants and imposing many restrictions on them, including on their freedom of movement within the country.

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