The Myanmar Army has replaced the general in charge of Rakhine state amid the ongoing Rohingya crisis, Reuters reported on Monday. Major General Maung Maung Soe, who was the head of Western Command in Rakhine, was transferred on Friday as reports of mass rape and torture poured in.
However, no reason has been given for the transfer. “I don’t know the reason why he was transferred,” Major General Aye Lwin, the deputy director of the psychological warfare and public relation department at the Ministry of Defence, told Reuters. “He wasn’t moved into any position at present. He has been put in reserve.”
Brigadier General Soe Tint Naing, who was a director in logistics, has replaced Soe. This comes just before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Myanmar on Wednesday, and urge the authorities to bring the situation under control.
World leaders and human rights organisations have criticised Myanmar for the “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine. Lakhs of Rohingya Muslims, who have been denied citizenship in Myanmar and are classified as illegal immigrants, have fled to Bangladesh since August after violence broke out. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar though the country has repeatedly denied this claim.