A New Phase of Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide Campaign in Rakhine, Myanmar

Villagers from Myabon are ruling out of the villager after a pregnant woman was shot and killed and arrested 5 villagers 

A New Phase of Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide Campaign in Rakhine, Myanmar 

“In fact, it is leading to a new phase of ethnic cleansing and genocide campaign against the Rakhine ethic, but international community and UN are fail to prevent it.

Kuala Lumpur, 14 November 2019 

Arrests, killing, bombing, force relocations, and disappearance by Myanmar army are increasing in the beginning of dry season in November in Rakhine State. The violence are parts of ethnic cleansing and genocide campaign against the population after Rohingya in 2017. Both the army and elected government are in the same page of genociding the Rakhine people. 

November and December are very valuable times for all farmers to cultivate and crop their paddies and rice. However, the heavy military operations and constant attacks on the villagers deter the farmers for copping and earning for living. 

Arakan Information Center recorded increase of rights violations on November 1-14: 20 men arrested, 2 men disappeared, and 2 people killed including a pregnant woman and a 70 years old elderly man. Three villagers are injured. Eight hundred villagers are forced to displace.

The military helicopters are bombing and firing missiles in Kyauktaw, Minbya, and Maybon townships consistently. The navy also shells to Muzay Island. All villagers run out of the village after some shells are landed.  

On November 10, soldiers shot and killed a 32 years old pregnant woman in Maybon township after she and her husband were coming back from selling fishes in another village. Her husband was also shot in the legs. 

Her mother in law told our news agency, “They were very poor. They earned money by selling fishes. They were called by the soldiers near the village to stop. But they did not hear the calls because of the noise of the engine. Then the soldiers shot her chest directly and she died on the spot. The soldier did not do any warning shoots first, but they shot her body instead. ” 

No one was accountable for the unlawful killing.

An elderly man of 70 years old was found in burning ground and in the ashes in Htee Sway village, Rathedaung township. U Maung Thein, the volunteer of Buddhist temple and clack, was disappeared since November 1st. His wife and almost villagers have moved to the IDP camp for several months. But he came back to the village to look after his house. 

Then the soldiers came to the village. His wife believed he was arrested and killed by the soldiers. Thus, she went to Battalion 551 and other petrol units and asked whether her husband was with them. She got no answer. 

But some villagers later found pieces of burning bones, watch, and nail cutter in the ashes near the Buddhist temple. 

“There was an old temple and some left over woods. He was placed in the woods and then burned him down. That was what happened to him,” one of the villager told our news agency. 

Charity workers and the death woman husband were severely beaten by the soldiers at the Yaw Chung Bridge in Maybon township on November 12. They came by car to Min Phu village, Minbya township, and carrying a death body of his wife from Yangon. Then the soldiers stopped the car on the bridge at 12 mid night. 

Then the soldiers quested them and forced them to sit down on the ground and then beat them by rifles. All together of eight people including elderly men who guarded the corpse were also beaten. The driver arm was broken. They were accused of members of Arakan Army. A couple hours later, they were released. 

Killing, arresting, and forcing is everyday life of Rakhine people. It will not stop soon. 

In this week, a parliamentary member in Naypaytaw submits a motion in the session. The motion is to condemn Arakan Army for arresting a Chin ethnic member of parliament, U Whea Tinn, and a member Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy (NLD).

The motion said the parliament condemned AA violently arresting the elected MP and disrupting national reconciliation process. The members will debate and condemnation AA in the parliament. 

Arakan Army issued a statement and gave the reasons for arresting the MP. The statement said he was working for Myanmar army to cleansing Rakhine population in Paletwa township, Chin State. 

AA spokesperson said it is a wrong move of the parliament and supporting the army violent crackdown on the Rakhine. He also said the parliament should treat the similar concern on Rakhine MP Dr Aye Maung, who is sentenced to imprison for 22 years. 

Now, every government apparatus becomes in the same machinery of military oppression. Union parliament recently joins with the Tatmadaw to condemn the AA instead of debating on root cause of conflicts and path way for peaceful solution. The motion will definitely support the army to kill more people. 

In order to initiate bilateral peace talks, Arakan Army released a statement and called the government and the army to exchange 17 POW, army and police officers, with 350 prisoners of Rakhine people. 

But the army spokesperson lashed out the calls of prisoner exchange. He said Tatmadaw would free the POW by harder military operations. 

Hardliners and racist officers in military are real problem of conflict increasing in Rakhine. Even worse, every department and ministry including judicial, information, transportation, health, education, home, police, firefighter, and immigration department involvement and working with the army is leading to a police state. 

After the speed boat incident, military officers instructed the police to arrest 7 staffs of Shwe Nadi speed boat that was stopped and abducted 50 passengers by AA and later released but kept the members of security force. Then the police brought the accused to the court. Then the government prosecutors filed the cases. The judge easily accepted the prosecution without questioning, and trials will be conducted soon. And then the judge will impose harsh sentence on the 7 staffs in the end. 

A lawyer who does want to publish his name said, “This is like an operating machine. The soldiers, police, prosecutors, judges, and government staffs share the same philosophy and believe in which they have to support the army."

He continues and says the government leaders ignore the facts and reality on the grounds, but stay with the same old tribal methods. 

When asked him how peace would be restored, he said both the government and army leaders would not be regret at all even if entire population  were wiped out of the Rakhine. 

Hundreds of people are already killed. Many have been arrested and disappeared, and over 70,000 people are forced to become IDPs in 9 months of operation.  

More soldiers are sending to Rakhine, and they will kill more civilians and force to relocate many residents. 

Both the government and the army do not have any immediate policy and plan to deal peace with AA, but they believe harder military operation will solve all problems at once.  

"In fact, it is leading to a new phase of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Rakhine ethic, but international community and UN are fail to prevent it," the lawyer said. 

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