Tuesday, April 23rd 2024

Junta detains another 25 Muslims from Sittwe for military service

The junta forces have detained another 25 Muslims from Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, for compelling them to join the military service.


On 26 March afternoon in Aung Mingalar Muslim ward of Sittwe township, the soldiers arrested seven residents travelling in an auto rickshaw.


"The auto rickshaw came  from Sittwe with seven  people on board. The passengers along with the driver were arrested. I saw some Muslims were arrested, but I cannot confirm if there was any Rakhine too,”  said a local Muslim resident of Aung Mingalar ward.


Earlier on 25 March, four  people from Basara Muslim village near Sittwe, 10 people from Aung Daing Muslim village and four  people from Maw Thee Nyar Muslim village were arrested by the junta forces.


At 7:50 am on 25 March, the  junta forces also arrested around 10 individuals from Aung Daing village under Sittwe township.


Additionally, a number of residents from Basara and Maw Thee Nyar Muslim villages were also arrested by the junta soldiers. They also threatened the family members as five of those nine  individuals arrested from Basara village managed to escape.


"In Maw Thee Nyar, four  people were arrested. Out of the nine individuals arrested, five  escaped. The junta forces threatened to punish the families if they did not hand over those escapists," he added.


The residents prefer to live in harmony without any ethnic or religious conflict in Rakhine State. However the military junta's actions are fuelling tensions between Rakhine people and Muslims in the region, he asserted.


"The conscription law is tied to citizenship. We are left aside because we are not citizens. On the other hand, we are being used as if we were citizens. This treatment is unacceptable to us. They arrest and force us to join military service and finally fight against Rakhine people amid the military conflict against the Arakan Army (AA). The AA currently enjoys significant public support in the region. Being compelled to fight against such a popular organization, we become helpless," he stated.


The junta has been carrying out forced arrests and compelling them to join the military service. The soldiers are targeting Muslim IDP camps like  Dar Paing and Baw Du Pha in Sittwe locality as well as all Muslim villages.


According to a convincing report, there may be at least 600 Muslims who are attending the military training.


The Muslim community reported that the junta deployed the Muslim youths, who underwent short-term military training in Sittwe, in the battle field of Rathedaung.

Recently, the AA announced the discovery of bodies belonging to junta soldiers and Muslims wearing military uniforms. These bodies were found after the AA captured the 536th light infantry battalion, 537th light infantry battalion and 538th light infantry battalion based in Rathedaung, 20 miles north of state capital Sittwe.


Additionally, there have been reports that hundreds of young and middle-aged Muslim men were arrested for compulsory military training  in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships.

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