Eye witnesses have reported seeing the arson and burning down of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state. Rohingya Buddhists are said to be behind the fires that are being lit around the state. BBC journalists have reported the burning down of different buildings such as a religious school and homes of villagers near Mungdaw.
The BBC reported that some men were seen carrying weapons and exiting the village, and one of them admitted to lighting up fires in collusion with the police. The official government claim is that the Rohingya community have ben torching their own home and are not being persecuted, a claim that is being contested by the fleeing Rohingya people who are seeking refuge in Bangladesh.
The Rohingya refugees claim that the Buddhists and Burmese military are burning down their villages to push them out of the country as retaliation for the attacks that militant Rohingya Muslims have carried out on police posts. A military crackdown is underway due to the attacks on an army base and several police posts by the militant Muslim Rohingyas. It has resulted in at least 400 deaths and the displacement of thousands of people.
So far 164,000 Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the previous weeks, due to which refugee camps are at full capacity, the United Nation’s refugee agency has reported. According to the UN agencies, this number could easily swell to 300,000 in the next few days.
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi has come under heavy criticism due to not protecting or speaking out for the persecuted community, who are not allowed citizenship in the mostly Buddhist nation. some have even started campaigns for the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s award to be revoked by the United Nations because of her inaction.
The Human Rights Watch interviewed 50Rohingyas last week that had fled to Bangladesh, they have said that their villages had been attacked by Burmese security forces, and they have been shot at and their houses burnt.
Multiple injured Rohingya Muslims are being treated in a hospital in the southern Bangladeshi city of Chittagong since violence has erupted since last month. One 10 year old boy whose ear had been blown off, Mohammed Idrees was also admitted to the hospital. “I don’t remember what happened to me, but I want to go see my mother,” he said, while his father explained the attacks done by the Burmese security forces on the 25th of August.