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UN professional warns of looming ‘genocidal violence’ in Myanmar

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This photograph taken on May 21, 2024 reveals folks rebuilding momentary properties close to a destroyed constructing following preventing between Myanmar’s army and the Arakan Army (AA) ethnic minority armed group in a village in Minbya Township in Rakhine State.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Myanmar’s Rakhine State is going through a terrifying scenario just like the run-up to “genocidal violence” eight years in the past in opposition to the persecuted Rohingya minority, a UN professional warned on July 4.

Speaking on the United Nations Human Rights Council, Thomas Andrews, the particular rapporteur on the scenario in Myanmar, voiced deep alarm at current occasions within the western area.

“The situation in Rakhine State, where the junta is rapidly losing territory to the Arakan Army, is terrifying,” Mr. Andrews mentioned.

“For Rohingya people — oppressed, scapegoated, exploited, and stuck between warring parties — the situation carries echoes of the lead-up to genocidal violence in 2016 and 2017.”

Clashes have rocked Rakhine State for the reason that Arakan Army (AA) attacked safety forces in November.

That ended a ceasefire that had largely held since a army coup in 2021 after a short-lived experiment with democracy.

AA fighters have seized swathes of territory, piling stress on the junta because it battles opponents elsewhere.

Mr. Andrews, an unbiased professional appointed by the rights council who doesn’t communicate on behalf of the UN, mentioned the army had been conscripting “thousands of Rohingya youth and mobilising them against the Arakan Army”.

“Even though many Rohingya young men have been taken to the front lines of the conflict against their will, the potential for retaliation by members of the Arakan community, and a downward spiral of violence, is enormous,” he cautioned.

Mr. Andrews mentioned there have been reviews linking AA troopers to rights violations in opposition to Rohingya civilians, at a time when the humanitarian scenario for each Rohingya and Rakhine folks was “extremely dire”.

He mentioned “tens, if not hundreds of thousands, have been displaced in Rakhine State”.

In May, the AA mentioned it had seized the city of Buthidaung in northern Rakhine, residence to many Rohingya Muslims.

Several Rohingya diaspora teams later accused the AA of forcing Rohingya to flee after which looting and burning their properties — claims the AA referred to as “propaganda”.

The AA, which says it’s preventing for autonomy for the state’s ethnic Rakhine inhabitants, has vowed to seize the entire of the state.

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