New conflict in Rakhine, thousands of refugees

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 6:44 am

Renewed conflict and violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. Human rights activists there have alleged that thousands of people from the local minority community have been displaced in this incident.

United Nations war crimes investigators said on Thursday (May 23) they were monitoring escalating fighting in conflict-torn Rakhine. They have started an investigation into the displacement of thousands of persecuted minority communities.

The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Myanmar (IIMM) said in a statement, “It is closely following the events in Rakhine and assessing whether or not there have been crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

The junta’s conflict with the Arakan Army (AA), an armed insurgent group in Rakhine, escalated after the 2021 coup by Myanmar’s military. The Arakan Army says it is fighting for greater autonomy for Rakhine’s ethnic Rakhine population. There are currently around 600,000 members of the persecuted minority Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine.

In 2017, millions of Rohingyas fled Rakhine and sought refuge in Bangladesh due to the country’s army’s bloody campaign. The UN Genocide Court case is going on against the Myanmar army in this incident.

In a joint statement, several Rohingya rights groups active abroad alleged that Arakan Army fighters forced Rohingya refugees from Buthidang town in Rakhine state last week. Houses in the city were looted. has been burned.

Not only that, the statement also mentions that the Rohingyas were driven out of Buthidang town and taken to the Arakan Army controlled area. Allegedly, the Arakan Army fighters forcibly displaced the Rohingyas. violated human rights.

Last week, the Arakan Army announced that it had taken control of the town of Buthidang in Rakhine. According to them, this is the latest example of the organization’s victory against Myanmar’s junta.

Residents were warned to leave the city, the Arakan Army said. They were also helped to move to safe places occupied by the Arakan Army. However, no details have been given in this regard.

The Arakan Army has alleged that Myanmar’s junta forces have wreaked havoc in Buthidang. They say junta troops have carried out ethnic and religious violence in the city while fighting the Arakan Army.

There was no response from the junta on the recent clashes in the Buthidang area. AFP contacted the Arakan Army for its response. No response received.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has reported that hundreds of people have been killed in recent clashes in Rakhine. Nearly three lakh people have become refugees. Internet and telephone services are suspended. So getting information from there is now quite difficult.

The US State Department said last Tuesday that the city of Buthidang in Myanmar has been burned. Local residents, including Rohingyas, have fled the city. Earlier, the UN human rights chief also warned about the situation in the city.

Sources: AFP, The Star

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