Rohingya houses to be demolished as winter sets in

December 22, 2016

Security forces have demolished scores of houses belonging to Rohingya Muslims and have ordered the destruction of many more, depriving the people of shelter as winter sets in.

In Shab Bazar, Maungdaw North, a team comprising of Tatmadaw, Hlun Htein and Police officials entered the Shatkania neighbourhood on Wednesday and said 11 houses in the area were built without any government permission. The Rakhine civilians accompanying them moved into the houses and began looting valuables while they proceeded to beat up some of the Rohingyas occupying the houses.

After that, they went to some other houses of the neighbourhood and looted them.

On Tuesday, a team of Hlun Htein and Police officials went to 13 houses located on the outskirts of Shil Khali and told the residents their houses had no authorisation and they must destroy them. If they failed to follow orders, they would be killed, said the security forces. When some of the locals protested saying they had to live with their small children under the open sky in the winter, the security officials replied it was not their concern. The officials then went into the houses and took away goods belonging to the Rohingyas.

In Dunse, Rathedaung, a team of Tatmadaw and Hlun Htein officials met community leaders and handed them a list of 54 houses which had to be demolished. When the Rohingyas protested saying these people had nowhere to go, they threatened the village with dire consequences if these orders were not followed. They said the Muslims did not belong to Myanmar and it was not their concern where they should go.

Even before the ongoing crackdown, state authorities said around 3,000 structures associated with Rohingya Muslims would be demolished on the pretext they were built without government permission.