August 25, 2019

Newsy Today

'You are hostages': Two years later, Rohingya is still in Myanmar caught up with a new war

YANGON (Reuters) – When Myanmar officials visited a refugee camp in Bangladesh last month, inviting Rohingya Muslims who fled the country to return, they brought pamphlets to them which were decorated with cartoons depicting women wearing hijab going through checkpoints and understands identity cards happily.

Muslim sellers sell fish in Maungdaw market, Rakhine 9th July, 2019. REUTERS / Ann Wang

They did not mention the new war being spent at home.

While a military campaign, which began in August 2017, contributed most of Rohingya residents in North Myanmar, a scattered community of about 200,000 remained behind in a Rakhine state, in villages killed by violence. Two years later, many of them now have a new conflict.

Since the end of last year, government troops have tackled the Arakan Army, an ethnic ethnic group largely recruited from Rakhine Buddhism, which makes the most in the region.

The fight left getting worse that Rohingya left in the middle and facing threats from both sides, a dozen homeowners told Reuters, which would probably not make worse returns.

“We are hiding in the middle of his fight,” said Tin Shwe, a man who was speaking from the town of Buthidaung, where there was intense conflict. “There has been no improvement in our lives in the last two years, with only degradation. Simply trouble. ”

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled on Rakhine to Bangladesh after the Myanmar armed forces sent crackdown after attacks on security jobs on August 25, 2017.

The UN investigators have said that the military campaign included mass masses and gang races and that a "genocide resolution" was carried out with them. The military denies almost all of the allegations made by refugees during what he said was a legitimate counterfeit operation.

On Thursday, a third 3,450 Rohingya attempt to clear the authorities failed to return to the Monastery when the refugees refused to go back.

Min Thein, myanmar social welfare ministerial director, said security measures were in place for returning refugees. “Myanmar police force will look after them,” he said.

A military spokesperson did not respond to phone calls seeking comments.


The authorities halted Northern Rakhine from journalists and humanitarian agencies, and added a flavor of the internet from the end of June, citing the need to avoid unrest.

Due to these constraints, it is difficult to verify information, but Reuters spoke to a Rohingya dozen who is still in the center of Rakhine and in the north of refugees in Bangladesh with relatives staying behind.

Some described earthworks explosions and mines that fell in Muslim villages, as well as intimidation by combatants on both sides of the conflict.

Two told Reuters that if they could, they could flee to Bangladesh, but the violence from the country used during the previous episode was not safe.

More than 1,000 Rohingya has arrived at the camps in Bangladesh since January, according to UN refugee agency, including a figure from India, who has been tackling Rohingya illegal immigrants in recent years.

The people of Marmar said violence related to fighting between Arakan Army insurgents and the military as well as poor living conditions, spokesman Louise Donovan said.

Many refugees living in the crowded camps of Bangladesh say that they want to return home, but under specific conditions, including citizenship and security guarantees and improvements in Rohingya's life still in Myanmar.

Migrating them as illegal immigrants, although many of them can trace their ancestry in Myanmar for centuries, Rohingya is largely rejected for citizenship and subject to strict restrictions on movement that keep them only camps. and villages.


The Arakan Army is fighting for greater independence for Rakhine, a region that has been an independent kingdom for centuries.

In its armed “revolution” requests, the group draws on historical discontent based on the depth of some of the Rakhines for ethnic majority. We are at the forefront of central government.

Rohingya still living in the area says that they were arrested in the middle of the conflict.

Government troops are struggling with insurgents after camp set up in Muslim villages in parts of northern Rakhine, five of the people of the town told Reuters. Soldiers ask Muslim residents to bring food and fuel, or to show them the roads, which the people of the town have said, which threatened them to disqualify them.

“If they say they will stay, we have to accept,” said one Rohingya person who lived in Rathedaung town, who asked not to name others for safety reasons.

Another person in Buthidaung town said that soldiers asked him to guide troops, as Burma was a fluent speaker. Some of the Muslim population speak only the Rohingya dialect, particularly from poorer communities.

Subsequently, the husband said, he received a call from an unknown number, giving warning that anyone would have contributed to the army. He said the speaker said to him, “We will kill you. We will burn your village. ”

Two Rohingya were killed dead in the village of Tainging township Rathedaung in early August after troops were escorted, five locals said to Reuters. Officers from the village could not be found for comment.

“We are hostages, stuck between two groups,” said one Muslim who fled the village. “We're not safe. It is already three times that we fled from the village since June … The government cannot control this area. ”

Arakov Army spokesman Khine Thu Ka denied that the organization killed civilians, and blamed the Mananmar forces for the deaths.

“We don't kill our civilians like that,” he said. “As we heard, Burma's military took them and they ended them as they are… There are too many cases like that.”


Rohingya in Myanmar has relied on international non-profit organizations to deliver medical care and deliver food since previous violence in 2012 forced many to enter camps.

From the beginning of the Arakan Army conflict, few are going through.

In the village of Tapping That Róndaung, Rohingya said that they received food delivery in May. “People are living out of rice porridge,” said one man.

Kyaw Win, executive director of Burma Human Rights Network, who monitors the Rohingya crisis, said he received reports on landmines and improvised explosive devices placed on the roads near Rohingya village exits.

In a joint statement last week, 61 non-governmental organizations including Save the Children and Oxfam said that there was “no meaningful progress on freedom of movement or human rights” for the Rohingya that is still in Myanmar, although the the recent rise in violence after the demise of a humanitarian situation in central and northern Rakhine state ”.

Slideshow (4 Image)

Across the border, in the sparkling camps of Bangladesh, refugees keep in touch with their relatives in Myanmar by phone, now that the internet connection is cut. No one wants them to come home.

“Everyone wants to flee because there is no security,” said Tin Shwe. “The government cannot help the small number of Rohingya left behind. So how does anyone believe that they could help hundreds of thousands? ”

(This story corrects typing in the 34th paragraph, replacing “improved” with “enhanced” t

Poppy McPherson reporting and Thu Thu Aung; Edited by Alex Richardson

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