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UN mission asks for more time to investigate Myanmar violence

The head of a UN investigation into violence in Myanmar asked for more time to look into reports of mass killings of Rohingya Muslims, as well as torture, sexual violence and the burning of their villages.

Marzuki Darusman told his sponsors in the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday that he was also still waiting for Myanmar’s permission to enter the country, though he was hopeful there would be progress soon, Daily Star reported.

Darusman’s team started its work in August. Since then more than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced into neighboring Bangladesh.

Myanmar has denied rights groups’ accusations that it is trying to drive the minority community out of Rakhine State, saying it is only targeting militants.

Darusman told the Geneva-based council, the time left until his current March 2018 deadline was “utterly insufficient” and asked for a six-month extension.

“Now facing an escalating situation in northern Rakhine that is increasing our workload exponentially, we are deeply concerned about our ability to verify the facts necessary to produce a report of the depth and quality that is expected of us by March.”

Darusman said he was he hopeful there would be progress in his request to enter Myanmar. His mission is meant to assess the situation across all of Myanmar since 2011.