Brutal Myanmar army forces about 2,000 Rohingyas from homes
The Myanmar army has forced about 2,000 Rohingya Muslims to abandon their homes in a village, as part of a crackdown on the religious minority following the recent attacks on border security forces.
Sources said border guards on Sunday went to Kyee Kan Pyin village, in the central region of Mandalay, and ordered about 2,000 villagers to evacuate it, giving them just enough time to collect basic household items.
The villagers were forced for a second night to stay and hide in rice fields without shelter.
“I was kicked out from my house yesterday afternoon, now I live in a paddy field outside of my village with some 200 people including my family, I became homeless,” said a Rohingya man from the raided village.
“After the soldiers arrived at our village, they said that if all of us didn’t leave, they would shoot us,” he added.
Witnesses and Rohingya community elders have confirmed the report.
A Myanmar government spokesman said the government was unable to contact anyone in the area because it was a militarily-operated “red zone.”
The move is believed to have been prompted after Myanmar police officials announced that attacks on three police posts along the country’s western border with Bangladesh on October 9 had claimed the lives of at least two officers while six more remain unaccounted for. An assault that was later blamed on the minority group.
Rakhine, home to around a million members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community, has been the scene of communal violence since 2012. Many of the Muslims have been killed while tens of thousands have been forced to flee as a result of attacks by Buddhists. The Rohingyas are largely living in camps in dire situations.
The Rohingyas have no militant faction to fight for them but police in Myanmar and Bangladesh have blamed a number of attacks in the past on the Muslims.
Over 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar face discrimination, including controls on their movements, family size and access to jobs.
Myanmar denies full citizenship to Rohingya population in the country. According to the United Nations, Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
The violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has triggered an influx of refugees into neighboring countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.