UN And Diplomats Visited Northern Maungdaw; Two Rohingya Women Raped By Myanmar Army While The Delegation On The Way
November 2, 2016
Maungdaw, Arakan – A delegation led by the UN resident director and senior diplomats visited areas in Northern Maungdaw where extrajudicial killing, gang rape, arson, looting and torture had been committed by the Myanmar military and Border Guard Police following militant attacks on three BGP in the same area on October 9th. The delegation arrived in Maungdaw from Sittwe at the BGP headquarters by helicopter today at 9:30 AM.
While the delegation was on their way to Maungdaw from Sittwe by the helicopter, two Rohingya women in Kyaik Chaung hamlet of Laung Don village tract were raped by soldiers.
The delegation left the BGP headquarters at around 11:30 AM and went to East Hamlet of Kyee Kan Pyin, where they met about 300 Rohingya villagers, including some from Wa Baik who had fled from their village after the military burnt down their houses. The meeting with the delegation and the villagers lasted for nearly an hour and a half. In the meeting rape victims, villagers who were forcibly displaced, arson victims and family members of men detained arbitrarily in sweeping arrests expressed their concerns regarding the current situation. The villages had been barred from meeting with the delegation by the military and BGP but they were determined to convey their suffering to the delegation however they could. The villagers managed to hand over letters and memory cards to the delegation which contained their stories and information on how brutally they had been treated.
At 2:30 PM the delegation left by helicopter for Kyein Chaung BGP regional outpost and they continued in eight vechicles to Pyaung Pyaik hamlet of Nga Sar Kyu village tract. Once there they met with about 200 Rohingya villagers. According to the villagers, some rape victims were able to report their cases against security forces to the delegation.
“A translator who speaks some Rohingya with a Rakhine accent is with the delegation. He was translating something and a victim was also speaking. As we found the translator was translating false information we had to help the victim translating,” a villager told RB News.
“They arrived at about 3PM. We gave them information we collected in English. They took them and put them in their bags. They stayed for 15 minute and left for Kyein Chaung,” the villager added. The delegation flew over Nga Ku Ra and Kyet Yoe Pyin villages.
“The Police were taking photos while we were talking with the delegation. We told this to the delegation, that we are worried that later the police will come and blame us for anything and will arrest us,” the villager said.
According to some Burmese media, the delegation had planned to visit Zin Pyaing Nyar, Kwel Ta Pyin, Laik Aain, Kyet Yoe Pyin, Du Dan, Nga Ku Ra, etc, but as of today they have not visited those villages. Villagers fear that they were prevented from doing so by the Government who may claim they are unable for security reasons.
In Kyein Chaung, authorities only allowed those close to them to meet with the delegation. A Rohingya man who spoke with the delegation is a former village chairman Idris who is well known in the village and has been referred to as the authorities puppet. There is concerned he is being used intentionally to spread false information to the delegation.
The delegation did not visit U Shey Kya village, where mass gang rape was committed by the Myanmar military. They also did not visit Kyet Yoe Pyin, where many people were killed and almost an entire village was burnt down by the military. In hiding their worst crimes from the delegation, the Government shows an absolute lack of transparency and honesty, and reflects poorly on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party.
After the delegation left Kyee Kan Pyin in the afternoon more than 300 villagers from West Hamlet were detained for more than 3 hours. They were released, but the BGP is searching intensely for 4 Rohingyas who spoke to the delegation.
State media has reported that the delegation did not find any fault or crimes committed by security forces as have been reported by foreign media. This is not what Rohingya on the ground and information obtained by RB News has found, so far regarding the findings of the delegation.
A Human Rights Watchdog group observing the delegation’s trip said that the Myanmar Government must admit to the crimes and violations that have been committed in Northern Maungdaw.
Additional reporting by MYARF.