BANGKOK – The European Union’s delegation in Myanmar urged the government on Thursday to launch a thorough and credible investigation into violence against Rohingyas in the western Rakhine State.
The call from the EU came a day after the Myanmar army acknowledged it carried out extrajudicial killings of Rohingyas in the state.
“The Myanmar military admitted for the first time the extrajudicial killings of 10 Muslim villagers whose bodies had been discovered in a mass grave near Inn Din village, Maungdaw district,” read the statement issued by the EU delegation, the Heads of Mission of EU member states accredited to Myanmar and the Head of Mission of Norway.
“These brutal killings confirm the urgent need for a thorough and credible investigation into all violent incidents in northern Rakhine State to ensure the accountability of those found responsible for committing atrocities,” it added.
“Impunity of perpetrators of such serious human rights violations must end,” concluded the statement, which also called for full cooperation from the government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The military commission tasked with investigating the mass grave near Inn Din determined that soldiers and local residents from the majority Buddhist community killed 10 members of the Rohingya minority, who are mostly Muslims, believing them to be members of the rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.
On Aug. 25, hundreds of ARSA militants had attacked some 30 security posts in Rakhine leading to a violent response from the army.
Reporters Without Borders calculated that at least 6,700 Rohingyas were killed in the violence between Aug. 25 and Sept. 24.
Around 650,000 Rohingyas subsequently crossed the border and sought refuge in Bangladesh.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein went on to say that the army’s crackdown on the Rohingyas appeared to be a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
Myanmar does not consider the Rohingyas to be citizens, treating them mostly as Bangladeshi immigrants and imposing many restrictions on them, including on freedom of movement.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, considers them to be citizens of Myanmar.