Conflicts & War

HRW denounces destruction in Myanmar village

Bangkok, May 26 (efe-epa).- A village in Myanamar’s conflict-ridden Rakhine State was ravaged after some 200 buildings were destroyed in a fire, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

The human rights defense organization released satellite imageries taken on May 16 which show burned buildings in the Let Kar village, following which, according to eyewitnesses, a military contingent entered the area, although responsibility for the destruction has yet not be determined.

“The burning of Let Kar village has all the hallmarks of Myanmar military arson on Rohingya villages in recent years. A credible and impartial investigation is urgently needed to find out what happened, punish those responsible, and provide compensation to villagers harmed,” Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement.

According to the United Nations the conflict between the Armed Forces and Arakan Army – an insurgent group – conflict in the western region of the country along the Bangladesh border has displaced more than 157,000 people and killed hundreds.

The AA was created in 2009 by a group of predominantly Buddhist and majority Rakhine ethnic Arakan students to fight for state autonomy, like so many other armed groups representing the country’s ethnic minorities. Many have been fighting against the central government since Myanmar’s independence in 1948, and some are allies of the AA.

The conflict intensified in January 2019, when the Government designated the AA as a “terrorist organization” on Feb.23.

Only one other group of dozens operating in Burma is currently classified as an extremist organization by the Government: the Rohingya Salvation Army of Arakan (ARSA). It took up arms to fight for the rights of the predominantly Rohingya Muslim minority, whom authorities deny citizenship and qualify as “Bengali immigrants.”

After a series of ARSA attacks in August 2017 in northern Arakan, the Burmese Army launched a brutal military campaign after which the majority of the Rohingya population, more than 730,000, fled to neighboring Bangladesh. For it, the military and the government face an accusation of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. EFE-EPA

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