Rohingya villages destroyed for Myanmar govt facilities

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 10:19, Sep 10, 2019 | Updated : 11:11, Sep 10, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugee children pictured in a camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, September 19, 2017. REUTERSEntire Rohingya villages in Myanmar have been demolished and replaced by police barracks, government buildings and refugee relocation camps report the BBC.

Satellite images showed that at least four Rohingya settlements were turned into secured government facilities.

However, officials denied building on top of the villages in Rakhine state, while the BCC went on a government tour to Myanmar.

Access to Rakhine is tightly restricted and journalists were not allowed to film or interview people without police supervision.

Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas now, of which 700,000 entered the country after August 25, 2017, when fleeing the brutal offence launched by Myanmar, targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which analyzed the satellite images, estimated that at least 40% of Rohingya villages damaged by the 2017 violence have since been completely demolished.

The United Nations (UN) has described it as "textbook ethnic cleansing". Myanmar, however, denied large-scale killings by its forces.

Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, continues to deny its troops carried out ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Though Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal on November 23, 2017, not a single person has so far been repatriated.

A second attempt to start repatriating Rohingya refugees also failed last month, after none of the 3,450 Rohingyas approved by Myanmar agreed to return, citing a lack of accountability for atrocities committed in 2017.

The Rohingyas also expressed uncertainty over whether they would get the freedom of movement or citizenship if they return.

Meanwhile, Myanmar blamed Bangladesh and said it was prepared to receive large numbers of returnees. To demonstrate this they invited journalists, including the BBC, to see their facilities, the report further said.

The BBC saw clear evidence of deliberate eradication of Rohingya communities.

When a Myanmar government spokesman was asked by BBC about the condition in Rakhine, he did not reply back.

The US said it would continue to put pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingya people.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller said they would continue to put pressure on Myanmar to create conditions on the ground for the “voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” return of all Rohingyas to Myanmar’s Rakhine state.