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362 abandoned Rohingya villages demolished; HRW urges Myanmar to stop

362 abandoned Rohingya villages demolished; HRW urges Myanmar to stop

"Ministers will call on (Federica) Mogherini to propose restrictive measures on senior members of the Myanmar military for systematic human rights abuses, without delay", one diplomat said on Thursday, referring to European Union sanctions.

Foreign ministers will also ask Mogherini and the EU's foreign service, the EEAS, on Monday to look at ways to strengthen the bloc's 1990s-era arms embargo on the Southeast Asian country that remains in place.

The findings by the New York-based rights group were published after Myanmar struck a deal on aid to the region with the United Nations and Japan, marking a shift in strained relations between government and the United Nations. The operation has also horrified the Rohingya, who believe the government is intentionally eviscerating the dwindling remnants of their culture to make it almost impossible for them to return.

Between January 9 and February 13, bulldozers razed two settlements in the village of Myin Hlut that appeared intact in images from November 2017, the non-profit said. Most houses had been torched past year, but now, "everything is gone, not even the trees are left" said the woman named Zubairia.

"They just bulldozed everything. I could hardly recognise it".

At least two of the flattened villages were previously undamaged by fires, the watchdog said.

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"People won't go home unless they are guaranteed safety and security, unless they have citizenship, unless they can send their children to school and have a chance of a future", said Fontaine.

Soldiers of Myanmar's Army and Border Guard Police (BGP) have reportedly torched two houses abandoned by the Rohingyas in a village near the no man's land at Tambru border point, adjacent to Bangladesh's Konarpara, on Thursday late night.

Myanmar has cleared 55 villages of structures and vegetation using heavy machinery since late 2017, HRW said.

Human Right Watch said it could not independently verify if the houses were occupied at the time.

In the crowded and largely lawless world of the Rohingya refugee camps of Bangladesh, children face a daily threat of violence, UNICEF said today.

Since August more than 650,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh where they live in camps on near the border.

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Myint Khine, a government administrator in Maungdaw, said some of the new homes were intended for Muslims.

Many in the Buddhist majority revile the Rohingya and brand the group as foreign interlopers, despite their having lived in Rakhine for generations. "Myanmar has agreed to list and resettle them".

There has been little evidence of Rohingya wanting to return to conditions described as "apartheid" by Amnesty International.

Myint Khine said the government had no ulterior motive.

"The government's clearing of dozens of villages only heightens concerns about Rohingya families being able to return home", he said.

"Everything is wiped away, and this is very concerning, because these are crime scenes", he said.

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"Deliberately demolishing villages to destroy evidence of grave crimes is obstruction of justice", said Adams. "We said that is the duty of Myanmar as they have not entered Bangladesh territory", he said.