November 22, 2016
At least nine infant children have died in Mun Gala as Rohingyas who have been driven out of Maungdaw North villages continue to be cut off from all medical facilities. An outbreak of diarrhoea looks likely to take its toll on many more children, as access to food and even water has become difficult for these internally displaced persons (IDP)s. Many of the Rohingyas often don’t eat for days at an end.
These IDPs mostly hail from the villages of Sau Ra Gazi Bil, Bor Gazi Bil, Ra Bai La and Sa Li Frang which were hit with helicopter gunships, rocket launchers and heavy machine guns last week. Some of these IDPs are also from Kya Ri Prang and Kawa Bil which were destroyed by the Tatmadaw in the first phase of the operations that started in October.
The areas which the IDPs use to camp is close to the Bangladesh border. Most of them would like to cross into the country with their families, but they are surrounded by Hlun Htein forces who are treating the populace as hostages. People trying to cross over to the other side are often shot and killed. To make matters worse, the Bangladesh government has remained steadfast in cooperating with the Tatmadaw and has refused to open borders, despite growing public support for the beleaguered Muslim community.
Meanwhile, seven women have confirmed to our correspondent in the area that they have become pregnant after being raped by the Tatmadaw in October. The victims say when the affair becomes public knowledge, they are going to become social pariahs and have requested help for abortion or medicine.
In a separate incident, Tatmadaw forces surrounded the open field north of Mun Gala where many IDPS are based, saying they needed to check the Rohingya women for suspicious links to Muslim rebels. Six women were taken away in the name of questioning to a secluded place and raped.
Bali Bazaar – in or out
The residents from this beleaguered village tract were driven out last week when Tatmadaw attacked the area with rocket launchers. However, over the weekend, the Tatmadaw and Hlun Htein caught up with many of the villagers who were seeking refuge in the wilderness and ordered them to go back.
On Monday, the security forces entered the village tract and said they would scrutinise the list of residents to make sure there were no illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, a common practise in the region, generally used to extort the Muslim population. But this time, grown up males present to confirm their names were arrested. On the other hand, anyone found absent from the village were omitted from the list and it was declared henceforth they would be treated as Bangladesh nationals, and they were ineligible to stay in this country.
Around 15 people were arrested from the area. There are concerns they will be mercilessly tortured in custody. Hundreds of Muslims prisoners have been tortured to death since 2012.
Quran desecrated again
Tatmadaw accompanied by Rakhine men in civilian clothes raided Lambaguna on Sunday afternoon. They entered the mosque where they looted valuables and then went on to desecrate the Quran, reported eyewitnesses who later went to the scene and found torn pages from the Muslim holy book.
The army and their collaborators also took away cows belonging to the Muslims, looted shops and knocked out fences.
A headless corpse
The dead body of a woman was found in the ruins of Sau Ra Gazi Bil by survivors who were scouring the area. The victim has been identified as Kala Banu, presumed to have died when Tatmadaw attacked the area with helicopter gunships and heavy weapons last weekend. Around 150 Rohingyas have been killed in those attacks.
Meanwhile on Monday, Tatmadaw forces set fire to all remaining houses on the outskirts of Sau Ra Gazi Bil, bordering with Saa Li Frang. As days go by, it seems the entire village tracts of Sau Ra Gazi Bil, Bor Gazi Bil, Saa Li Frang and Ra Bai La will be destroyed.
Tatmadaw also shot randomly at cows belonging to the Rohingyas who have fled the village since the weekend operation.
Earlier on Saturday, Tatmadaw set fire to houses in Bor Gazi Bil and shot at the cows.
So close, yet so far
They escaped from Tatmadaw terror in Bor Gazi Bil, but a sad fate was awaiting them on the other side. A brother and sister who had escaped from Arakan were robbed in the Bangladesh border and brutally assaulted. When they had crossed into the Bangladesh border after losing all their possessions, they were hit by a speeding car, just as they were about to enter the relative security of the Kutupalong camp on Sunday.
One of the victims of this sad incident has been identified as Nasim Ullah. He is very likely to pass away. He is currently in medical care. His sister suffered terrible injuries but is out of danger.
Another family from Ra Bai La lost a 12 year son in a road accident in Unchi para of Bangladesh on Sunday night after they had crossed from Arakan.
Local sources say the Rohingyas who hail from the remote regions of Arakan state have little experience in navigating the busy highways of densely populated Bangladesh.
In a separate incident, Bangladesh police arrested three Rohingya men in front of the Station mosque in Teknaf on Sunday night on charges of illegally entering the country. The arrested men have been identified as Shamsul Alam, 45, Kala Miah, 37 and Qader, 27.
Tatmadaw surround Maung Hna Ma
Tatmadaw surrounded the southern neighbourhood of Maung Hna Ma from all sides on Monday morning. A tense situation is prevailing in the village tract. All Rohingyas from the Majur para neighbourhood of the village tract had earlier escaped.