Myanmar ‘militarising’ Rohingya villages in Rakhine, says Amnesty

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RAKHINE: Myanmar is conducting a “military land grab” on land in Rakhine state where Rohingya once lived, a new report from Amnesty International alleges.
Citing satellite images and witnesses, the rights group says villages have been bulldozed to make way for new infrastructure since January.
An Amnesty spokesperson said this “alarming” militarisation was removing evidence of crimes against Rohingya.
The government of Myanmar has yet to respond to the report.
It has previously asked for “clear evidence” to support allegations from the UN that it may have carried out “acts of genocide” against the Rohingya.
Amnesty says that while the picture its new report presents “is only partial, the situation raises urgent concerns about its implications for the future of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya… as well as the tens of thousands who continue to live in the region”.
In August, the Myanmar military launched a military operation in Rakhine state after deadly attacks on police stations.
It said it was a crackdown on insurgents, but reports have emerged of widespread human rights violations, killings, and the burning of villages.
About 700,000 Rohingya – a mostly Muslim minority – have since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, joining refugees from previous waves of violence.
Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed a repatriation plan in January that would see the most recent arrivals returned to Myanmar within two years.
However there are growing concerns for their safety under the plan.
Amnesty’s report, Remaking Rakhine State, says that along with new civilian infrastructure to accommodate returnees, the region is being “militarised at an alarming pace”.

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