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Rohingya must be allowed to return to their homes, warns Boris Johnson

Rohingya must be allowed to return to their homes, warns Boris Johnson

Myanmar has staunchly denied the charges and blocked United Nations investigators from the conflict zone, souring relations with a host of western allies.

Members of Myanmar's security forces will face legal action over the hacking and shooting deaths of Rohingya Muslims in restive Rakhine state, a government spokesman said.

"Such an investigation would help provide a more comprehensive picture of what happened, clarify the identities of the victims, identify those responsible for human rights abuses and violations, and advance efforts for justice and accountability", she said.

On Sunday Johnson and Suu Kyi "discussed in an open and friendly manner the latest developments in Rakhine State, including planning for the reception of returnees who fled", Myanmar's foreign ministry said in a Facebook post alongside photos of the pair meeting.

The account marked the first time soldiers and paramilitary police have been implicated by testimony from security personnel in arson and killings in the north of Rakhine state that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide. Myanmar denies ethnic cleansing, and says its security forces mounted legitimate counter-insurgency clearance operations. "And we are not giving blanket denials".

More than 620,000 Rohingya are thought to have fled to Bangladesh following persecution from the Burmese military.




Ahead of the talks, the UK's Foreign office said Johnson would press for an "end to the suffering in Rakhine and the safe and voluntary return of the refugees".

Human Rights Watch said Myanmar's military leaders should be held accountable in an global court for alleged crimes against the Rohingya population.

Buddhist villagers reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in Inn Din and Rohingya witnesses said that soldiers plucked the 10 from among hundreds of men, women and children who had sought safety on a nearby beach.

Campaign group Fortify Rights also called for an independent investigation. "They remain held & must absolutely be released".

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J.Adler said his company's primary focus has been on the safety of the two reporters who had been consulted about publication of the report.

Fresh reports of mass graves and the arrest of two Reuters journalists investigating massacres have piled more pressure on Ms Suu Kyi to condemn the army, who she is in a delicate power sharing arrangement with. They are in prison while a court decides if they should be charged under a colonial-era act.