A video of a burning Rakhine village in northern Maungdaw has surfaced on social media.
Maungdaw, Arakan State — A video showing ‘Pha Wat Chaung,’ a Rakhine village in northern Maungdaw, being on fire surfaced early me morning today.
The footage shows the Myanmar junta military extinguishing the fire and blaming the Arakan Army (AA) rebels — a Rakhine Buddhist rebel group engaging in fightings with the military — for putting the village on fire and fleeing the scene afterwards. However, according to some locals, they were most highly the Myanmar military that set the village on fire.
“The AA rebels were in the Rakhine village. But they had left the village earlier. The Myanmar military afterwards entered the village and the village was on fire after that,” said a nearby villager.
The Myanmar military has the notorious records of staging false events and shifting blames on others. In the past, the Myanmar military and their collaborators/facilitator Rakhine extremists set Rohingya villages im Arakan state on fire and accused the Rohingya people of burning down their own villages and fleeing afterwards.
“In the past, the military and the Rakhines burnt down our homes and accused us of doing that. This time also, it could be the military’s doing. The only difference is that it was the village of Rakhines — who were once active collaborators of the military and burnt down our homes together with them — set on fire highly likely by the military,” the villager added.
The village of ‘Pha Wat Chaung or Fau Haali (in Rohingya)’ once a village which had both Rohingya people and Rakhine people living in it. The Rohingya section of the village was attacked, set ablaze and destroyed by the Myanmar armed forces along with their collaborators Rakhine extremists in the three phases of the violence in 2012, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The Arakan Army or AA is a Rakhine Buddhist rebel group engaging in battles with the Myanmar military in late 2018, they have killed and kidnapped Rohingya civilians, extorted money from them, raped their women, confiscated their lands and many more. Off late, they have taken positions in and around the Rohingya villages — that have nothing to do with the fights — and using them as their covers against the Myanmar military and turning them into their battlegrounds despite knowing full well that Myanmar military has the notorious records of in discriminatory attacks.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]