Rohingya Muslims in Buthidaung Trapped Amid Armed Conflict

Rohingya Muslims in Buthidaung Trapped Amid Armed Conflict

ACTNews, RAKHINE – The Rakhine State situated in the western coast of Myanmar has gained attention from the international community when the crackdown by Myanmar military in 2017 forced around 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to the neighboring countries.

To this date, armed conflicts still happen quite frequently in Rakhine. According to Reuters, the latest clash happened in Kin Taung Village in Buthidaung Township, a home to the Rohingya Muslims who choose to stay inside Myanmar.

“A military airstrike killed five people, including one of our villagers, at around 4 pm yesterday,” Zaw Kir Ahmed, a community leader from Kin Taung village told Reuters.

Rashid Ahmed, a laborer, reported that his older brother, uncle and nephew were shot from a helicopter when they were working in Sai Din Valley. “A helicopter attacked them while they were working there, cutting and collecting bamboo,” he said.

Al-Jazeera reported that the armed conflict happens between Myanmar Military and Arakan Army who draws much of their recruits from the local Rakhine population.

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced concern about attacks on civilians, including Rohingya Muslims in Buthidaung.

Shamdasani stated that 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".

She mentioned that sources on the ground say that at least seven people were killed on Wednesday when two military helicopters flew over a village in south Buthidaung township and fired on civilians tending cows and paddy fields.

Reaching Rohingya Muslims in Buthidaung

For approximately three years, Roghingya Muslims have been trapped in armed conflicts inside their own homeland in Rakhine state. The conflicts have isolated the local Muslim population, making it hard for them just to get access to basic needs.

In the near future, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) will be visiting Rohingya Muslims in Buthidaung township. Andi Noor Faradiba of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – ACT stated that after distributing food packages in Rathedaung last March, ACT will also distribute food packages in Buthidaung.

“Insha Allah, the food package distribution for Rohingya Muslim in Buthidaung will be done in April,” said Faradiba. []

Picture sources: ACT, Reuters



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