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

Myanmar Erects Security Structures, Helipads, Roads On Torched Rohingya Properties: Amnesty

Myanmar Erects Security Structures, Helipads, Roads On Torched Rohingya Properties: Amnesty

After driving almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country, Myanmar's military is building bases where some of their homes and mosques once stood, Amnesty International said on Monday, citing new evidence from satellite imagery.

New construction has begun, in the form of security bases and infrastructure, or villages meant for non-Rohingya people.

Lakhs of Rohingya Muslims have fled from Rakhine state to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017, when security forces began a violent crackdown against the community.

"In some instances there has been the destruction of existing homes". Amnesty said that authorities were also destroying villages not burnt but "deserted by inhabitants fleeing killings, starvation and the threat of further violence".

But by early March buildings could be seen on the revamped land.

In Kan Kya village, for example - burned down between August and November past year - homes and at least two mosques were demolished to make way for a new security force base. In response, Burmese army - Tatmada - launched an unprecedented campaign of magnitude against Rohingya, which includes burning of more than 350 villages, group rapes, and an uncertain number of murders of men, women, and children.

The village demolitions and evictions of Rohingya that are still in Rakhine - it is estimated that by August y lived around one million - to give room to new constructions have multiplied since beginning of year, says AI.

Amnesty's analysis of new satellite imagery appears to prove that at least three new security bases have been built in Rakhine since January.

Rakhine state has been largely sealed off from rights groups, the media and United Nations investigators.

The report also highlights concerns that abandoned Rohingya land will be set aside for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and other non-Muslim groups in the area, and that alterations to the landscape will erase evidence of alleged atrocities by the military.

Spokespeople for the government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the military were not immediately available for comment.

"This makes the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees an even more distant prospect", said Hassan.

Zaw Htay, a government spokesman, rejected the claims, and said the government was not basing military forces in residential areas but that police stations were part of village construction plans.

Nevertheless, Amnesty's report suggests that rebuilding and development in the Rakhine will be at the expense of refugees.

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