Myanmar erasing evidence of Rohingya crimes

Myanmar erasing evidence of Rohingya crimes

Myanmar's military is razing emptied Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine state and building bases on the rubble, raising fears that evidence of atrocities may be destroyed, according to a new report by rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Evidence of Myanmar's ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya minority continues to mount as Amnesty International revealed the Burmese military is now conducting a "land grab" of areas where the besieged community used to live. They are building centers to house same security forces that have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya, "says Hassan of AI".

"Before repatriation can be really considered, Myanmar must break the cycle of violence in Rakhine, recognize the Rohingyas' right to self-identify, restore their citizenship, and uphold their human rights", Lee said.

Amnesty said that authorities were also destroying villages not burnt but "deserted by inhabitants fleeing killings, starvation and the threat of further violence".

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"It is unreasonable to assert that our leadership, whose mission has human rights at its core, remains indifferent to the allegations of grave human rights violations", he said, insisting that the government was "ready to take action where there is clear evidence".

Since August 2017, the Buddhist-majority nation has reportedly driven almost 700,000 members of the besieged community into neighboring Bangladesh, as part of a wildly indiscriminate military crackdown the worldwide community has called ethnic cleansing.

Amnesty said Myanmar's "reshaping" of the region where the Rohingya lived appeared to be created to accommodate more security forces and non-Rohingya villagers, and could deter refugees from agreeing to return.

Myanmar's military had also advanced into Mutraw District in Kayin State, an area controlled by the Karen National Union, despite a ceasefire agreement, she said.

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The Rohingya people from Rakhine, Myanmar are among the most persecuted minorities and regarded as the largest stateless nation in the world. "They returned because they were facing difficulties trying to survive there".

The ethnic Rakhine are staying temporarily in a school in Aung Thapyay village, while the Mro have been placed in Thu Pannaka Mro and Thitton Ngakwasone villages, Hla Tun Kyaw said.

"They worked on farms in Bangladesh, and they were experiencing difficulties trying to survive", he told RFA. Authorities have launched an operation to rapidly expand security infrastructure across Rakhine State, including bases to house the military and Border Guard Police, as well as helipads.

Win Myat Aye, Myanmar's minister of social welfare minister, and Vikram Misri, India's ambassador to Myanmar, agreed on the construction plan during a meeting in Naypyidaw in February. Translated by Khet Mar.

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