Rathedaung — As their fightings with the Rakhine rebels (or Arakan Army) continue to escalate, the Myanmar military are taking shelter in/nearby a few surviving Rohingya villages in northern Rathedaung at night, triggering fear among the local Rohingya survivors of becoming victims of spillover.
The fightings between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army (AA) broke out nearby Rohingya village 'Akar Taung' hamlet of 'Yat Khone Taing' village tract in northern Rathedaung around 9:30am today (Jan 26). Sounds of large calibre weapons and artilleries were heard, according to the villagers.
As the fightings temporarily ceased in the afternoon, the Myanmar military apparently had more deaths and casualties. As a result, the military have reinforced more member of troops and now besieged 'Yat Khone Taing Rakhine' village.
A Rohingya Genocide survivor in northern Rathedaung said "the military are taking shelter in the Rohingya villages at night. It's like they are inviting Arakan Army to come into our villages to fight them at night. It's like they are taking safety behind us by putting us as shields in the front line.
"We are really afraid that our people will be killed in a fight which is not related to us. We fear that our remaining villages will be destroyed amidst the fightings. We request the government of Myanmar to instruct the military to not take safety in our villages."
There are a few Rohingya villages that have survived onslaught of arson attacks carried out on the Rohingya villages in Arakan since 2012. As the International Aid Agencies have stopped providing the survivors Humanitarian Aid since October last year, with no access to works and livelihoods, the villagers are now on the brink of starvation now.
For more on this, please our previous report on this:
Confined and Neglected, Rohingya Survivors in Rathedaung Face Risks of Starvation
[Reported Ant Kyaw Win; Edited by M.S. Anwar]