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Myanmar military clears self on Rohingya

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November 14, 2017

Myanmar's army denied allegations of rape and killings while forcing 600,000 Rohingya Muslims out.

Myanmar's army has released a report denying all allegations of rape and killings by security forces, having days earlier replaced the general in charge of the operation that drove more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.

No reason was given for Major General Maung Maung Soe being transferred from his post as the head of Western Command in Rakhine state, where Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw, launched a sweeping counter-insurgency operation in August.

"I don't know the reason why he was transferred," Major General Aye Lwin, deputy director of the psychological warfare and public relation department at the Ministry of Defence, told Reuters. "He wasn't moved into any position at present. He has been put in reserve."

A senior UN official, who had toured the refugee camps in Bangladesh, on Sunday accused Myanmar's military of conducting organised mass rape and other crimes against humanity.

The Myanmar military said its own internal investigation had exonerated security forces of all accusations of atrocities. The investigators' findings were posted on the Facebook page of the military's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The developments came ahead of a visit on Wednesday by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He is expected to deliver a stern message to Myanmar's generals, over whom national leader Aung San Suu Kyi has little control.

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