Japan Urges Safe Return Of Rohingya Refugees

Japan Urges Safe Return Of Rohingya Refugees

During a meeting on Friday, Kono asked Suu Kyi's government to allow humanitarian and media access to the affected area, the resettlement of returned refugees, and the implementation of recommendations made by former U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

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

Rights groups have accused Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi of failing to condemn the widespread abuses during the army crackdown, which followed raids by militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

"A Myanmar government spokesman said in response to ARSA's statement that sometimes "terrorists and villagers were allied" in attacks" against security forces. It said the 10 were "Bengali terrorists" who threatened villagers, but that the military would "take action" against those who "broke the rules of engagement". "There will be an ongoing investigating process whether they are members of ARSA or not".

MYANMAR'S civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has welcomed an unprecedented army admission that security forces carried out extra-judicial killings of Rohingya Muslims as a "positive step", state-backed media reported today.

Neither the military nor Suu Kyi has said what action will be taken against those responsible for the deaths linked to the mass grave in Rakhine state.

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On Dec. 18, the military announced a mass grave containing 10 bodies had been found at the coastal village of Inn Din, about 50 km (30 miles) north of the state capital Sittwe.

"We are thankful to Japan for its willingness to support the needs both for short term and long term", Suu Kyi said at the joint news conference. The army appointed a senior officer to investigate. But the military has insisted that there has been no wrongdoing by any security forces.

Some civilians wanted to kill the 10 men to avenge the death of an ethnic Rakhine Buddhist man in Inn Dinn village named Maung Ni and would face punishment, the military said.

Tun Aye was one of four Inn Din villagers detained by police on December 15, said Khin Win. Since August, military operations have driven more than 650,000 Rohingya into refugee camps across the border in Bangladesh.

The UN and United States have accused Myanmar's army of ethnic cleansing, with the UN rights chief saying it may even be guilty of genocide.

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