Home NewsAsia Rohingyas face fresh abuse amidst Myanmar turmoil

Rohingyas face fresh abuse amidst Myanmar turmoil

by Zahid Jadwat
Rohingya passengers get off the train ahead of Sittwe, Rakhine state, as they are not allowed to disembark at the main station. They are caught between two sides in a worsening conflict. [Picture: Riva Press]

Nearly seven years after surviving a genocide, Rohingya remaining in Myanmar are caught between a deadly war between the country’s military and rebels. Many have been conscripted into the army.

Speaking in an interview on Salaamedia, Nay San Lwin, co-founder of the German-based Free Rohingya Coalition, said a 2020 order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was being disregarded.

The order granted provisional measures sought by The Gambia, instructing Myanmar to prevent genocidal acts against the Rohinya.

They are “sandwiched between the Myanmar military and the Arakan army”, he said, adding that “there is no one to protect them, only the order from the court”.


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While the Arakan Army battles Myanmar’s military in the country’s western Rakhine state, in hope of achieving an autonomous state, the ethnic Rohingya population has been under pressure from both sides.

There are reports of coercion for them to join the military – despite having been stripped of citizenship in 1982 – and the rebels have been accused of attacking the group.

In April, United Nations’ (UN) human rights chief Volker Türk sounded the bell, saying they were “trapped between two armed factions who have a track record of killing them”.

James Rodehaver, the chief of the Myanmar team at the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, told The Guardian civilians were often trapped in the middle.

“They suffer the consequences of the ensuing combat – airstrikes, forced displacement, village burnings, destruction of critical humanitarian infrastructure, especially medical facilities,” he said.

“Rohingya men have been arrested and disappeared, or even in some cases used as human shields by the military. Their mosques and schools have at times been occupied by fighters and used as locations from which to launch strikes, or damaged and destroyed during attacks.”

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