Buthidaung -- One Rohingya teenage boy was killed and another severely injured in shooting by the Myanmar military as the fighting between the military and the Arakan Army (AA) continues to rage in northern Buthidaung Township on Monday morning.
Unaware of where the fighting was going on, one teenage youth and another in late twenties went into the nearby forests in search of vegetables and firewood. On their way back home, they were spotted by the Myanmar military and summoned them (to come before them).
“The young men were frightened as the Myanmar military has many records of killing innocent civilians. So, they tried to run away from the military. The military shot at them. Both were hit in their legs. One died from heavy bleeding on the way and another was admitted to the Buthidaung Hospital by the military,” said an elderly Rohingya man in Buthidaung.
The victim that was killed was identified as Sayed Alam, 15, s/o Abul Kasim and another injured was Mohammed Ayas, 28, s/o Aamir Hussain. Both are from the village of ‘Phone Nyo Leik’, northern Buthidaung.
The body of Sayed Alam, the deceased, was handed over to his relatives at around 3:30pm on Monday (Jan 14) and given funeral at 5pm of the day.
The responsible military-battalion commander gave Kyat 100,000 first and later additional 500,000 (around USD 335) to the father of the deceased possibly as compensations.
Total twenty five more Rohingya firewood collectors and farmers from two villages in northern Buthidaung - ‘Thayet Pyin and Phone Nyo Leik’ - were stuck amidst the fightings in the region between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army on Sunday (Jan 13) and were unable to return home.
“Fighting between Myanmar military and Arakan Army started in the mountains nearby ‘Thayet Pyin and Phone Nyo Leik’ villages at around 9am on January 13. Those who had gone to the forests before the fighting started and those who had been looking after their farms at night, altogether 25, got stuck. Since they didn’t return home, the villagers were very worried.
“Next morning, the military accompanied them home. However, the two young men hit and injured by bullets were also among them. One died due to heavy loss of blood and another has been admitted to the hospital,” said a villager of Phone Nyo Leik.
Since the Myanmar military and government began full-fledged Genocide of Rohingya in Arakan in three phases, in June 2012, October 2016 and August 2017 respectively, their access to livelihoods and economic opportunities have been crippled severely. Going by the current situation, it appears, if they don’t go to their farms or forage foods in the forests and rivers for one day, they would go starvation.
[Reported by Kyaw Soe; Edited by M.S. Anwar]