msa February 17, 2017

By RVision TV Correspondent | February 17, 2017

Maungdaw — The Myanmar military are still heavily deployed in and around the Rohingya regions in Maungdaw despite the (Myanmar) government’s announcement of the cessation of the so-called ‘Region Clearance Operation’ on Thursday (Feb 16), reliable sources in Maungdaw have reported.

The Myanmar State Counsellor Office declared on Thursday that the government ended the four-months long military operations in Maungdaw (that started on October 9, 2016) and only the Police Force (i.e. the Border Guard Police, BGP) would be present to maintain ‘the Peace’ in the region.  

Our sources have confirmed, contrary to the announcement, that the military encamped in different Buddhist monasteries; and deployed in and around many Rohingya villages in northern Maungdaw have not been withdrawn and are still very much in their positions.

“The military haven’t been withdrawn and are still very much in their positions even after the announcement of the end of the military offensives on the Rohingya civilians in northern Maungdaw and at the village of Koetankauk in Rathedaung. We’ve heard that the military and the BGP are giving troubles to the villagers in ‘Taung Bazaar’ area in Buthidaung because they are rejecting ‘National Verification Cards (NVC)” said an elderly Rohingya man in northern Maungdaw.

Meanwhile, the military-led investigation team visited the village of ‘Oo Kyi Kyar’ locally known as ‘Bura Shidda Fara’ and selectively met with a few villagers. Vast numbers of the victims willing to the meeting investigation team were blocked by the military deployed for the security of the (investigation) team.

U Aye Myint, a human rights activist based in Maungdaw, in speaking to Rohingya Vision TV, said “the formation of the military-led investigation team and the cessation of the 4-months long military offensives on the Rohingya civilians in Arakan are attempts to reduce international pressures on the Myanmar Government and its military; and to block any potential UN-led Independent Investigation into the atrocity crimes against the Rohingya population.

“The abuses and crimes against the Rohingya people by the military and the BGP and the military still very much exist in reality. Therefore, it’s crucial that the world must not become deluded that the abuses of Rohingyas have ended with the announcement of the so-called cessation of the military operations in Maungdaw.”

The UN OHCHR, Human Rights Watch (Report 1 & Report 2), Amnesty International and other rights group have reported that the Myanmar military and the Border Guard Police (BGP) have committed devastating cruelties and gross atrocity crimes against the Rohingya population and created fear and terror among the population during the so-called ‘Region Clearance Operation.’

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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