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Rights group condemns Myanmar Army over aid blockade

Nay Pyi Taw, Oct 10 (IANS) A human rights group on Tuesday condemned the Myanmar Army for blocking humanitarian aid to Rohingya villages in the violence-ridden Rakhine state.

Many of the villages near Buthidaung municipality in Rakhine state have not received humanitarian assistance since the military crackdown in late August, the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) said.

Activists said authorities had also blocked access by the UN to the north of Rakhine state, where the majority of the Rohingya Muslims currently live, reports Efe news.

According to the NGO, only local organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross were given access to the area but were mostly directed to Buddhist villages in Rakhine state instead.

On August 25, Rohingya militants carried out a coordinated attack on about 30 police posts in the state resulting in the death of 12 security personnel. It sparked a response from the Army, which has then been accused of rapes, killing civilians and burning their homes.

Since then,over 500,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.

The BHRN also said that Bangladeshi authorities destroyed boats arriving from Myanmar with Rohingyas on board, saying that the refugees were transporting drugs into their country and arrested fishermen for helping those fleeing the violence.

Without rescue boats, thousands of Rohingyas have been stranded on the mouth of the Naf River, which marks the border between the two countries.

It is estimated that before the crisis about 1 million Rohingyas lived in Rakhine state, where they faced growing discrimination from the government, which considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh

The UN labelled the conflict in Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing”.

Post Source: Ians feed

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