Recent Violence in Myanmar Displaces Thousands of Civilians

Recent Violence in Myanmar Displaces Thousands of Civilians

ACTNews, RAKHINE – The recent clash between Myanmar military and Arakan Army affects the civilians in Rakhine state, including the Rohingya Muslims. The United Nations mentioned that 20,000 civilians were displaced due to the clash, as reported by Al-Jazeera.

The armed conflict centered in western stated also forced the civilians to flee to the neighboring Bangladesh. No less than 730,000 civilians reportedly fled to Bangladesh. Many of the Rohingyas had to walk for hundreds of kilometers to escape military crackdown in Rakhine State.

The crackdown in Rakhine indiscriminately affected every civilian. Al-Jazeera reported that a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced concern about attacks on civilians by both sides. “There were credible reports of the killing of civilians, burning of houses, arbitrary arrests, abductions, indiscriminate fire in civilian areas, and damage to cultural property,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswomen for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The attack was carried out in five townships in Rakhine State where thousands of Rohingyas were taking shelter having fled earlier fighting. "As the international community is taking steps towards accountability for the crimes committed against civilians in previous years, the Myanmar military is again carrying out attacks against its own civilians - attacks which may constitute war crimes," she stated.

In Geneva, the UN human rights office said that the effect of the violence on civilians in northern Rakhine State "has been exacerbated by the government's near-suspension of humanitarian access" since January. It also urged the army and the Arakan Army to "immediately cease hostilities" and to open the access for humanitarian aid.

 

In mid-March, as a humanitarian mission to deliver aid trusted by the people of Indonesia, hundreds of food packages were delivered to the Rohingyas trapped inside their own village. Sucita Pri Ramadinda of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) stated that 1,100 people benefitted from the aid distribution that took place on Tuesday (3/19) and Wednesday (3/20) in Sin Kon Taine Village in Rathedaung, Rakhine State.

“Most of the Rohingyas that received the aid packages work as farmers and oddjobbers. Many are even unemployed. The ongoing conflict has made their life extremely difficult, even to just get enough food,” said Ramadinda in early April.

As reported by Kasim (50), the villagers live in utter hardship after their villages were blocked. Hundreds of impoverished residents live in these villages, and they were extremely grateful for the food packages from Indonesia. []

 

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