Rakhine state is under extreme religious tension since the dispute rose between the Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Residents. Rakhine State violence is a series of conflicts between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, where ethnic Rakhines have the majority.
The Myanmar’s army reported that its security forces have killed nearly 70 people since they have taken control over northern Rakhine state in last month. It further reported that extensive devastation in the affected area was just “false news”.
These army troops rushed into the area along the border of Bangladesh, which is majorly home for Muslim Rohingya minority, since the detrimental raids on the police border posts on October 9.
Clashes became more intense over the weekend when army troops killed over 30 civilian within two days assault and observed that for first time military used helicopter gunships for attacks.
In a late Monday Facebook post, the army chief’s office mentioned that in a search operation for attackers, in total 69 Rohingyas were killed and around 234 people were arrested between October 9 and November 14. It further mentioned that 7 soldiers including 1 commanding officer along with 10 policemen sacrificed their lives.
Myanmar’s army has reticent information about their operations and refuses to accept the reports from activists regarding troops killing civilians, torching homes, and raping women. Moreover, profound restrictions on the entry of sovereign observers and foreign reporters make it difficult for them to verify the government reports of army abuse.
The dilating violence in Rakhine region has been the biggest challenge yet for Aung San Suu Kyi’s Government and questions her ability to handle army.
Suu Kyi has faced strong criticism from rights group for not providing a strong defense to “a minority”. The UN has termed this “minority” as the most victimized and ill-treated people in the world.