The residents of flood-prone Kyaukphyu Township in southwestern Arakan State are still struggling to resume agricultural production seven years after their lands were devastated by Cyclone Giri in 2010.
Burma pledges “no restrictions” on journalists visiting the troubled state of Arakan this week, in the first official trip to include foreign reporters to mostly Rohingya Muslim villages affected by violence since October.
A delegation led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees travelled to Arakan State on Sunday, visiting the troubled region less than a week after security forces there were put on high alert amid a spate of recent killings that the government has blamed on “terrorists.”
Attacks on civilians in northern Arakan State continued over the weekend, according to the Office of the State Counsellor, which described the assailants as “terrorists” in three violent incidents that saw four people killed, including a village administrator.
A United Nations probe into alleged human rights abuses by Burma’s military against the minority Rohingya people last year would inflame ethnic tensions, the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday.
Authorities have begun the process of shuttering IDP camps in Arakan State, but rights advocates worry that initial efforts don’t bode well for a larger-scale relocation of the state’s Muslim minority.
The United Nations on Tuesday appointed an Indian human rights lawyer and two other experts to a fact-finding mission investigating alleged killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State.
Nearly 60 Burma-based civil society organisations call on the government to fully cooperate with a UN fact-finding mission tasked with looking into allegations of grave human rights violations in Arakan State and elsewhere in the country.
Burma’s army on Tuesday rejected allegations of human rights abuses during its crackdown on Rohingya Muslim last year, made by the United Nations in a report on the offensive that forced some 75,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Scores of protesters on Sunday took to the streets in Sittwe demanding the release of Buddhist monk Nanda Thara and a layman, Khaing Ni Min, who were arrested last month and face unlawful association charges after organising a football match in the name of the Arakan Army.
The Buddhist monk renowned for his anti-Muslim sermons travelled to Arakan State on Wednesday, an official said, sparking concern over religious tensions in the region, where more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims live.
The European Union clashed on Tuesday with the visiting leader of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, by publicly supporting an international mission to look into alleged human rights abuses by the country’s security forces against Rohingya Muslims.