15, Mar 2018 | CJP Team
Amnesty International has said in a new report that Myanmar authorities are constructing security force bases and bulldozing areas where just months ago Rohingya villages were razed. Amnesty said its research has found that entire villages of torched Rohingya homes have been bulldozed since the beginning of the year, with nearby trees and plants also being removed. Myanmar authorities have also mounted an effort to expand security infrastructure in the Rakhine state, such as military and Border Guard Police bases and helipads. Satellite imagery reportedly indicates that new bases have been built within a few months on Rohingya land. There are at least three new bases, with the largest in Ah Lel Chaung Village. Here, eyewitness reported that the military forced out Rohingya from some parts to facilitate construction. “What we are seeing in Rakhine State is a land grab by the military on a dramatic scale. New bases are being erected to house the very same security forces that have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya,” said Tirana Hassan Amnesty’s Crisis Response Director. Amnesty said that satellite images also indicate that refugee reception centres meant for returning Rohingya are fenced in and near areas that have a high presence of security forces. Myanmar has said it is ready to accept repatriated Rohingya, but humanitarian groups have raised concerns about this being too premature. Hassan said the construction of security bases “makes the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees an even more distant prospect.” Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since a military crackdown in the Rakhine state in late August 2017. Amnesty’s complete report, titled ‘Remaking Rakhine State’, may be read here.