Tuesday, May 21st 2024

International community urged not to Ignore 5,000 non-Muslim houses burned in Buthidaung

Aye Myat Khaing, Narinjara News, 9 May 2024


The international community  has been urged not to ignore the burning down of around 5,000 houses belonging to non-Muslims in Buthidaung of Rakhine State and also appealed to support the affected families, said the local residents.


U Aung Thaung Shwe,  former Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Buthidaung, stated that the burning down of residential houses in Buthidaung was  a clear violation of human rights and  that should  be ignored by the international community. He also called for assistance in achieving the truth and justice.


"The terrorists are responsible for these disruptive activities. Local people like us, who are primary victims of violence, are only suffering. The international community must not put a blind eye to our plights. We need assistance to uncover the truth and also pursue justice. We appeal to the UN to ensure justice for those facing violence. We demand justice," he added.


Around  5,000 houses of local ethnic groups including Rakhine,  Khami, Chak and Daingnet were torched in Buthidaung during April. An attempt  to hide the truth behind these incidents may encourage more violence, he asserted.


Daw Ma Aye Chay, whose house in ward 6 was torched, mentioned that the Arakha Army (AA) cautioned the affected residents  not to respond with anger. They want to prevent escalating violence because of the burning of houses and hence the Rakhine people exercised restraint with an aim to avoid conflicts.


"It's painful to see our houses were torched. However, the AA asked us to avoid angry reactions. The military junta is deliberately creating tensions, but our people remain careful making statements and indulging actions against the Muslims," she added.


A Muslim village elder from Seint Nyin Pyar village stated that all Muslims do not endorse the acts of terrorism.


"We are not supporting these kinds of action. Some may have supported and collaborated  with the junta, but most of us would prefer  peace at any cost,” he said.


The arson targeting all non-Muslim houses in Buthidaung started on 14 April, which was  carried out by ARSA rebels and Muslim soldiers, who received military training from the junta forces.


According to the 2018 population census, there were around 3,000 households in Buthidaung. However, from 2019-2020, due to the settlement of rural residents fleeing the battles, the  population increases and it’s  now exceeded to 10,000. Among them, 60% are occupied by Muslims and 40% by Rakhine and other ethnic groups, confirmed U Aung Thaung Shwe.


The AA spokesman U Khaing Thu Kha also confirmed that nearly  5,000 houses were burnt down in Buthidaung.


He added that the junta was losing the war and hence they are arming certain Muslims to create instability in the region. It may also fuel ethnic and religious conflicts in various Rakhine localities.


The military spokesman major general Zaw Min Tun has however denied the allegation.


At least 1,500 houses were burnt down by the  junta soldiers and its affiliates in Buthidaung locality during April, said the 3 May statement of Data for Myanmar.

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