Myanmar builds security structures on Rohingya land

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After destroying Rahonigya villages in the Rakhine state with the bulldozers Myanmar has started building security installations on the land, Amnesty International said.

They say satellite images show Rohingya villages are being bulldozed to make way for military bases.

"Not only does the Myanmar government have a responsibility to account for the alleged crimes in Rakhine state since October 9, 2016, and August 25, 2017, and the violations that continue today, but the worldwide community must also be vigilant", Lee said.

The group says new facilities for security forces and roads have been built around places where Rohingya villages once stood, suggesting the area could be used to accommodate more security forces.

"Before repatriation can be really considered, Myanmar must break the cycle of violence in Rakhine, recognize the Rohingyas' right to self-identify, restore their citizenship, and uphold their human rights", Lee said.

(COMBO) This handout image of a satellite photograph released by Amnesty International and DigitalGlobe on March 12, 2018 shows new structures and fencing built over the previously burnt village of Kan Kya in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

Htin Lynn, Myanmar's permanent representative to the U.N.in Geneva, rejected Lee's remarks, called on the Council to fire her, and said that Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is committed to human rights, the news agency reported.

Hla Tun Kyaw, who spends most of his time at the national parliament in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw, said he speaks with authorities in Maungdaw two or three times a week, and they have denied reports about the construction activities.

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Myanmar is allegedly building military bases on the top of razed Rohingya villages, where the Rohingyas once lived before their persecution by the country's security forces in August previous year.

The UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour last week said that "ethnic cleansing" against the Rohingya was continuing in Rakhine State through a "campaign of terror and forced starvation" intending to drive the remaining Rohingya population into Bangladesh.

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

Researchers also found signs that whole villages have been bulldozed since January, potentially destroying vital evidence from last August's violence.

This is worrying since authorities have in the past resettled members of other ethnic groups into Rakhine State as part of efforts to develop the region.

So far, civil society organizations and local communities have provided the returnees with enough food for a month, Hla Tun Kyaw said.

Lee said the violence in Rakhine had eclipsed anything seen in recent years in Myanmar, where the government has also fought insurgents in Shan, Kayin and Kachin states. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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