Myanmar military denies atrocities against Rohingya, replaces general

Rohingya Muslims risk lives to cross border

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh targeted by human traffickers

Myanmar's army released a report on Monday 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.

Myanmar says the clearance operation was necessary for national security after Rohingya militants attacked 30 security posts and an army base in the state on August 25.

"The Burmese military's absurd effort to absolve itself of mass atrocities underscores why an independent global investigation is needed to establish the facts and identify those responsible", said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. United Nations officials and some world leaders have in fact described the treatment of Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing". It denied that security forces had torched Rohingya villages or used "excessive force".

"The Secretary-General and the State Counselor discussed the situation in Rakhine State".

"The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has found that human trafficking and exploitation is rife among Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh", Xinhua news agency quoted UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, as saying on Tuesday.

"She has said what she will do, and ASEAN must make comments on Myanmar only after waiting and seeing what she does", he said.

Suu Kyi has said that any alleged atrocities should be substantiated and investigated, while her government is working to stabilize Rakhine in order for the Rohingya to return.

The military's report came ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit on Wednesday and growing calls in Washington for economic and travel sanctions against the military and its interests. "The Secretary-General highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential", the United Nations said in a statement.

A senior UN official, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, has described the army's actions in Rakhine as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

"This trip can not become an endorsement of the current state of affairs in Myanmar", he said.

Myanmar authorities gave Bangladesh a list with the names of 1,000 people deemed terrorists during a six-day conference on security and law enforcement between the Myanmar Police Force and Border Guard Bangladesh, which began on Monday in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw.

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

"After that, Myanmar will accept refugees back by forming joint committees", he said. "We heard [this] from people... over and over again", Lawrence added.

Reported by Khin Khin Ei, and Win Ko Ko Latt for RFA's Myanmar Service.

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