Myanmar Is Building Military Bases on Torched Rohingya Villages, Rights Group Says


Detailed satellite images published by Amnesty International appear to show security infrastructure replacing homes burned when Burmese forces moved in to the northern Rakhine state.

Amnesty's analysis of new satellite imagery appears to prove that at least three new security bases have been built in Rakhine since January, while more were found to be under construction, The Telegraph reported.

"What we are seeing in Rakhine is an occupation of land by military on a dramatic scale".

The report said the bases would house the same security forces that committed crimes against the Rohingya.

(COMBO) This handout image of a satellite photograph released by Amnesty International and DigitalGlobe on March 12, 2018 shows new structures and fencing built over the previously burnt village of Kan Kya in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been the target of global vitriol for a perceived failure to stand up for the stateless minority.

The government of Myanmar is yet to respond to the report.

Since August 2017, the Buddhist-majority nation has reportedly driven almost 700,000 members of the besieged community into neighboring Bangladesh, as part of a wildly indiscriminate military crackdown the global community has called ethnic cleansing.

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The atrocities by the Myanmar security forces drove out some 700,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh since August 25 previous year.

The government of Myanmar appears to be pursuing a policy of starvation in Rakhine state to force out the remaining Muslim Rohingya population, a United Nations investigator said Monday.

Amnesty's findings will likely cast major doubts over the Myanmar government's pledge to welcome back Rohingya refugees who fled across the border in Bangladesh during the crackdown.

Amnesty said Myanmar's "reshaping" of the region where the Rohingya lived appeared to be created to accommodate more security forces and non-Rohingya villagers, and could deter refugees from agreeing to return.

"They have been living in Bangladesh for a long time as [ethnic] minorities", said lawmaker Hla Tun Kyaw.

So far, civil society organizations and local communities have provided the returnees with enough food for a month, Hla Tun Kyaw said. The exact death toll can not be confirmed since Myanmar's government restricts obstructs reporters from covering the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State.

In a related development, Indian diplomats met with Myanmar officials in Naypyidaw on Monday to discuss the building of 250 prefabricated houses for displaced residents in Maungdaw's Kyeinchaung Taung, Nant Tha Taung, and Shwezar villages.

According to Bangladesh government's statistics, an average of 75 Rohingya refugees fled their villages in Myanmar every day between January 1 and February 15.