Muslim groups call for halt to demolition of mosques in Arakan State
A total of 11 Rohingya organizations have called on the Arakan (Rakhine) State government not to destroy mosques, Muslim schools, and Rohingya houses that the State claims have been built illegally.
In a joint statement on September 23, the groups said they “strongly condemned the Arakan (Rakhine) State government’s plans to demolish more than 3000 Rohingyas’ buildings, including 12 mosques and 35 madrasas, in the townships of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, under the pretext of illegal construction.”
The announcement of the demolition order on 18 September has caused consternation to the entire Rohingya community.
They claimed the “demolition project is part of their long-drawn-out annihilation and ethnic cleansing policy of the defenceless Rohingya people.”
According to their statement, they said this was “a joint conspiracy of the Arakan State government and Rakhine Buddhist extremist leaders to destabilize the situation in the territory with intentions to frustrate any attempts to bring about peace and stability in Arakan and produce more internally displaced Rohingyas to be housed in apartheid-like concentration camps also in Maungdaw district.”
Concern was expressed that these actions did not match the words of the Myanmar government.
“It is surprising that this sinister design was announced at a time when the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her first address to the 71st U.N. General Assembly, was defending her government’s effort to resolve the crisis over treatment of the Rohingya minority by pointing out to the establishment of an advisory commission for Arakan State chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the same time assuring that everybody in Arakan would be safe and secure,” the statement said.
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