By Khaing Tun Kyaw
Buthidaung, Arakan state — About a dozen of Rohingya villagers were arrested in Buthidaung Township these past three days after a dead body of a Myanmar junta-soldier was found floating in a river nearby their village, according to reliable sources.
The incident happened last Saturday (on Aug 21) and the junta-soldier whose dead body was found floating in the river nearby the village of ‘Thaya Kin Ma Nu’ was said to be from the infantry battalion 552 based in Buthidaung Township. Since then, the Myanmar junta military have raided the Rohingya village and arrested about a dozen of Rohingya villagers under the accusation of killing the junta soldier.
“The military came into our village and checked our household registration list. They threatened that we must tell them who had killed the soldier. Otherwise, they would punish the whole village.
“But the fact is nobody knows who killed him. Some people say it could be AA, some others say it could be a result of fighting among themselves (the military) that happens from time to time. But innocent villagers have been put under persecution,” said a villager asking to withhold his identity.
A total of fourteen villagers have been arrested since August 21. Of them, four have been released.
Since late July 2021, after ‘Arakan Army (AA),’ a Rakhine Buddhist rebel group active in northern Arakan state, attempted to establish administrative authority in the region, the Myanmar junta forces have stepped up movements and activities in the region. Meanwhile, the AA has also rammed up their activities in the region.
On the other hand, the members of AA have also started to persecute the remaining Rohingya Genocide survivors in Arakan State. And the AA leadership has labelled the Rohingya villagers — especially those at the village of ‘Letma’ in Minbya Township — “criminals and terrorists” in an apparent attempt to justify atrocious actions by their members (i.e. the rebels from AA).
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]