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Renewed atrocities against Rohingya in Rakhine State, Myanmar

July 10th, 2024  •  Author:   Women’s Peace Network  •  3 minute read
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The Rohingya ethnic and religious minority in Rakhine State, or “Arakan,” are now being systematically targeted with atrocities, on top of being indiscriminately caught in the crossfire of an escalating armed conflict beyond their immediate control, says Women’s Peace Network (WPN) in its latest report, “Renewed atrocities against Rohingya in Rakhine State, Myanmar.”

The report addresses the increasingly lethal conditions to which approximately 600,000 Rohingya civilians have been subjected since the November 2023 resumption of an armed conflict between the Burmese military and the Arakan Army (AA). It serves to follow up on WPN’s May 19, 2024 urgent call for action on the AA’s May 17 attack on Buthidaung township, as well as supplement press releases and reports on the uniquely dire situation of Rohingya by the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Secretary-General, and other key international actors. Such actions, including the May 22 joint statement by over 195 civil society organizations, raised alarm on the Burmese military’s intensified targeting of Rohingya with forced recruitment, forced protests, and other acts at least in part aimed at inflaming communal tensions in Rakhine State. Based on its documentation and its network, WPN today issues this report to draw attention to a new, perilous reality in Rakhine State: one where atrocities against Rohingya are now also being committed by the AA.

“The past months have been incredibly devastating for my fellow people of Arakan. The situation in the state is now worse than what we saw in 2017. Rohingya are being targeted with hate speech and even more atrocities from even more actors, all the while being denied access to food, medical care, and humanitarian aid. As a human rights organization working for the marginalized, for peace and coexistence, and for a truly inclusive federal democracy, we had no choice but to raise the alarm on the reality of the crisis in Arakan, and call for immediate attention and action. Civilian lives must be protected,” says Wai Wai Nu, WPN’s Founder and Executive Director.

The report urges the international community to take all measures to prevent the further commission of atrocities against Rohingya in Rakhine State and ensure the direct provision of humanitarian aid to internally displaced Rohingya, as well as support further investigations on the situation in Rakhine State. Other recommendations are also issued to key actors including the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the leadership of the Burmese pro-democracy movement, and the AA.

“Ultimately, what we all want is the same: an Arakan where Rakhine and Rohingya can peacefully coexist as equals – as we used to – and a Myanmar without the Burmese military – without any kind of authoritarianism, oppression, sexism, racism, discrimination, persecution, and genocide,” says Wai Wai Nu.

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