Violence Continues in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

By: Brian Kim
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia 

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar – Members of the Rohingya minority group stormed 30 police stations on August 25th. Around 150 fighters, armed with guns and machetes, attacked Myanmar security forces. The officials believe that around 60 of the insurgents and 12 Myanmar security forces were killed. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Myanmar police are heavily patrolling parts of Rakhine. Photo courtesy of BBC.

This conflict occurred soon after the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, released the long-awaited report.

The commission was established last year to evaluate the situation in Rakhine State. Soon after the report was released, Annan stated that “unless concerted action – led by the government and aided by all sectors of the government and society – is taken soon, we risk the return of another cycle of violence and radicalization, which will further deepen the chronic poverty that afflicts Rakhine State.”

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s leader, stated that the attacks were deliberately planned to coincide with the release of the Advisory Commission’s report.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, requested that the commission evaluate the conflict in Myanmar last year. However, many humanitarian groups have been critical of her leadership and expressed their disappointment.

Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director publicly stated that since the report has been published, “the ball is now in Suu Kyi’s court.”

Because of the ongoing chaos, Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing to Bangladesh by the thousands. However, the Bangladeshi officials have been turning people back at the Ghumdhum border area. The officials estimate that around 3,000 Rohingya have found refuge in Bangladesh since the attack.

Reuters – At least 71 killed in Myanmar as Rohingya insurgents stage major attack – 24 August, 2017

Fox News – Myanmar: Attacks on police, border guards kill at least 12 – 25 August, 2017

CNN – Police killed in new violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State – 25 August, 2017

BBC – Myanmar Rakhine: Thousands flee to Bangladesh border – 28 August, 2017

Author: Brian Kim

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