In the wake of allegations of violence against the Rohingya Muslims Amnesty International has said that the Myanmar military may have committed ‘crimes against humanity’ and have accused them of raping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians.
The military authorities of Myanmar have said that they are only conducting anti-terrorist operations in Rakhine and denied all accounts of atrocities
According to the Amnesty International in October a group of militants most of whom were Rohingya Muslims attacked the border police, the operation in Rakhine was started in this context and the military dubbed it as an anti-insurgency operation.
Earlier in November, an official of United Nations had said that ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya Muslims who are a minority was being performed by the military of Myanmar, whereas satellite images of destroyed villages were published by the Human Rights Watch.
The regional organisation ASEAN which is composed of 10 nations of Southeast Asia is holding a meeting where regional leaders are gathering to discuss the violence.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the de-facto leader of Myanmar was not in favor of setting up this meeting, instead of taking notice of the plight of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, whenever this issue is raised by the international community she accuses them of stirring things up.
She has reportedly denied all allegations of violence and atrocities and have supported the military, she has said that the military is following the rule of law.
However, the reports of raping and killing of civilians on the pretext of a Rohingya armed group by many human rights groups say the contrary.
Indonesia and Malaysia, which are the two most populated Muslim countries put pressure on her and forced her to hold this meeting, although unwillingly but now she will have to give the briefing on the situation in Rakhine State for the last two months.
However, it is very likely that they will only get to hear one side of the story.
According to the Amnesty International almost 20 people involved in humanitarian efforts were interviewed along with 30 actual victims, the reports of random killings, arrests, detention, torture, looting and rape were described as a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’.
More than 1,200 buildings were set ablaze including homes, schools and mosques.
“The army’s actions are part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine State and may therefore constitute crimes against humanity,” the Amnesty International said.
Due to restrictions journalists are unable to approach the area and that is why there is no exact number of fatalities reported.