Myanmar army general in charge of Rakhine state ‘replac…

The army general in charge of the Rakhine state in Myanmar where 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled has been replaced.

Myanmar’s army gave no reason as it moved Major General Maung Maung Soe from his role as head of Western Commands in Rakhine.

Major General Aye Lwin said: “I don’t know the reason why he was transferred.

“He wasn’t moved into any position at present, he has been put in reserve.”

He is replaced by Brigadier General Soe Tint Naing.

Full special report: Rohingya refugee crisis
A girl is weighed at a Rohingya refugee camp
A girl is weighed at a Rohingya refugee camp

:: Explained: The Rohingya refugee crisis

Around 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have been driven into Bangladesh as they flee an army operation in their homeland.

The government of Myanmar claims the group are illegal immigrants and has left them stateless by refusing to give them citizenship.

A wave of refugees began fleeing the country in late August after Myanmar’s response to an attack by Rohingya militants on more than 20 police posts that the government said left 12 members of the security forces dead.

Sky’s Alex Crawford describes ‘prisoner of war’ conditions

Amnesty International said security forces then went on to carry out a “targeted campaign of widespread and systematic murder, rape and burning”.

The government now claims 400 people, mostly terrorists, have died but the United Nations puts the estimate closer to 1,000.

There was once more than one million Rohingya people living in Myanmar, mostly in the Rakhine state, but Bangladesh as received 600,000 refugees, in what is becoming a humanitarian crisis.

Hundreds of thousands have been left trapped on beaches as they have fled the operation, with scores dying as they are attacked, or step on landmines, or drown.

Refugees on foot at Sabrang near Teknaf, Bangladesh
Refugees on foot at Sabrang near Teknaf, Bangladesh

:: Rohingya babies dumped and left to die in Myanmar crisis

Sky News has been able to film some of the first independent evidence from the Rakhine state, with people telling us the army had been “slaughtering us, destroying our houses and raping our women”.

They spoke about being trapped on the beach, some for as long as two months, after landmines had been laid to keep them from getting back.

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi has so far failed to speak against the army operation. Singer Bob Geldof handed back his Freedom of the City of Dublin on Monday morning, saying he did not want to be on the same list as her.

He claimed her association with the city “shames us all”.

He added: “In short, I do not wish to be associated in any way with an individual currently engaged in the mass ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of North West Burma.”

Sir Bob Geldof said 'it turned out she (Aung San Suu Kyi) is a killer'.

‘I don’t want to be on same list as a killer’

The UK government has pledged £47m since the end of August to help provide emergency supplies for those fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Paolo Lubrano of Oxfam has warned the crisis is “becoming way beyond our capacity” with the risk of widespread disease including cholera and tuberculosis in the expanding refugee camps.

More follows….

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