The Financial Express

Myanmar replaces Rakhine army chief

| Updated: November 14, 2017 11:09:03

Photo: Reuters Photo: Reuters

Myanmar's army has replaced the head of Western Command in Rakhine state, where the military launched an operation in August.

An army media officer said on Monday without giving any reason behind this.

"I don't know the reason why the official, Major General Maung Maung Soe, was transferred," Major General Aye Lwinhe said.

"He wasn't moved into any position at present, he has been put in reserve," the army media official said.

He said the transfer was ordered on November 10 and Brigadier General Soe Tint Naing is now the head of Western Command.

According to Reuters, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims had to flee to Bangladesh from the country due to the military operation, started in August.

On Sunday, a UN official accused the military of conducting organised rape and other crimes against humanity.

“When I return to New York, I will brief and raise the issue with the prosecutor and president of the ICC whether they (Myanmar’s military) can be held responsible for these atrocities,” Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said in Dhaka.

“Sexual violence is being commanded, orchestrated and perpetrated by the Armed Forces of Myanmar, otherwise known as the Tatmadaw,” Patten said following a three-day tour of the Rohingya refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh.

“Rape is an act and a weapon of genocide,” she said.

Refugees have accused Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist vigilantes of torching their villages, murdering their families and raping women.

Patten said brutal acts of sexual violence had occurred in the context of collective persecution that included the killing of adults and children, torture, mutilation and the burning and looting of villages.

“The forms of sexual violence we consistently heard about from survivors include gang-rape by multiple soldiers, forced public nudity and humiliation, and sexual slavery in military captivity. One survivor was in captivity for 45 days by the Myanmar army,” Patten said.

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