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#24 Return to Rakhine: ‘Genocide never happened in this country’

As our convoy of white jeeps rattle along the dirt roads through a vast landscape of fertile farmland, it's hard to see any physical evidence of the 392 villages that were burned down in Myanmar's Rakhine State, other than the odd patch of blackened, decaying trees.

The rainy season has helped to replace much of the scorched earth with lush green fields, and rampant bulldozing and building work throughout the state has largely erased all memories of the Rohingya Muslims that lived here until they were forced to flee a little over a year ago.

CNN joined a government-led tour of the highly restricted area in late September, in an apparent attempt to convince the media -- and the rest of the world -- that accusations of genocide are false.

Our visit comes a week after a UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar presented its full report documenting evidence that the military carried out mass rapes, murders, and set fire to villages during what they called "clearance operations" in reaction to alleged "terrorist activities" by Rohingya militants last August.

The UN report says more than 10,000 people were killed, 720,000 fled to Bangladesh, and it called for military generals to be prosecuted in an international tribunal for "genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes." Myanmar's de-facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has rejected the mission and its findings.

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