World

Myanmar to probe police over Rohingya abuses

YANGON: Myanmar is to investigate whether its police officers have committed abuses against Rohingya Muslims, the government said, after officials promised that allegations of atrocities against members of the Muslim minority would be looked into.

The UN human rights office said in a report this month that Myanmar's security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burnt their villages since October, in a campaign that "very likely" amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar has denied almost all allegations of human rights abuses in northern Rakhine State, where many Rohingya live.

It said a lawful counter-insurgency campaign has been under way since nine policemen were killed in attacks on security posts near the Bangladesh border on Oct 9.

The military said last week it was setting up a team to investigate alleged atrocities by the security forces.

The interior ministry followed that up over the weekend with a promise to investigate the police.

The Home Ministry said in a statement that a "departmental inquiry" would be conducted "to find out whether the police forces have committed illegal actions, including violations of human rights during their area clearance operations".

The ministry, which is controlled by the military, said action would be taken against personnel "who failed to follow instructions".- REUTERS