MNA Editorial Desk: Myanmar’s military has ended a clearance operation in the country’s troubled Rakhine State, government officials said, reported news agency.
The security operation had been under way since nine policemen were killed in attacks on security posts near the Bangladesh border on Oct 9. Almost 69,000 Rohingyas have since fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to UN estimates.
The government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has denied 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.
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”.
More than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims may have been killed in the crackdown, two senior UN officials dealing with refugees fleeing the violence told Reuters last week.
A Myanmar presidential spokesman has said the latest reports from military commanders were that fewer than 100 people had been killed in the counterinsurgency operation.
The Rohingya people are Muslim Indo-Aryan peoples from the Rakhine State, Myanmar. According to the Rohingyas and some scholars, they are indigenous to Rakhine State, while other historians claim that the group represents a mixture of pre-colonial and colonial immigrations.
The official stance of the Myanmar government, however, has been that the Rohingyas are mainly illegal immigrants who migrated into Arakan following Burmese independence in 1948 or after the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.
International media and human rights organizations have often described Rohingyas as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. According to the United Nations, the human rights violations against Rohingyas could be termed as “crimes against humanity”.