Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Myanmar builds security bases on torched Rohingya villages: Amnesty

Myanmar builds security bases on torched Rohingya villages: Amnesty

Burma is allegedly building military bases on top of razed Rohingya villages, raising questions over the safety of hundreds of thousands of persecuted refugees who are due to be repatriated.

Nevertheless, Amnesty's report suggests that rebuilding and development in the Rakhine will be at the expense of refugees.

"The remaking of Rakhine State is taking place in a shroud of secrecy". "By January 2018, the area had been cleared and all remaining structures and vegetation removed".

Amnesty's analysis of new satellite imagery appears to prove that at least three new security bases have been built in Rakhine since January. The latest satellite images suggest that this process is underway.

Evidence of Myanmar's ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya minority continues to mount as Amnesty International revealed the Burmese military is now conducting a "land grab" of areas where the besieged community used to live. New bases are being erected to house the very same security forces that have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingyas'.

Modi assured Bangladesh of his government's support for a safe and dignified repatriation of the Rohingya Muslims, said Joynal Abedin, the Press Secretary to the Bangladeshi president.

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More than 670,000 people have fled into Bangladesh, where they are now facing the prospect of forced repatriation to Myanmar.

Many in the global community have condemned the violence, suggesting it could constitute ethnic cleansing or even genocide.

The military killed women, men, and children, committed rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls and systematically burned hundreds of villages, clearly committing crimes against humanity. According to Bangladesh government's statistics, an average of 75 Rohingya refugees fled their villages in Myanmar every day between January 1 and February 15. "No-one wants to stay because they are afraid of more violence against them".

Entire villages were burned to the ground past year as Burmese forces swept through Rakhine, killing and raping in a campaign the United Nations human rights chief called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

The report follows previous accounts by Amnesty and other rights groups who have documented the demolition of Rohingya villages at the epicenter of recent violence, prompting concerns that evidence of human rights abuses are being concealed before they can be properly documented. Myanmar officials have said villages were being bulldozed to make way for new homes for returning refugees.

"Not only are their homes gone, but the new construction is entrenching the already dehumanizing discrimination they have faced in Myanmar", Hassan added.

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