June 10, 2017
Hundreds of Ma Ba Tha and Arakan National Party (ANP) activists took over the streets of Buthidaung town on Friday as the army continues its brutal crackdown on the Rohingya in the remote areas of the township.
The protests started at around 1.30pm local time, when the Muslims traditionally hold their special Friday congregation (Jumma) prayers.
The rally organisers shouted over loudspeakers that the Muslims must go back to Bangladesh where they came from, or they will be wiped out.
Many Ma Ba Tha and ANP activists seemed very keen to immediately take up arms against the beleaguered community, according to the statements they made over loudspeakers.
The protests come at a time when the Tatmadaw has stepped up operations in the Northern areas of the township where lack of communications mean news of atrocities committed don’t reach the outside world.
The timing of the aggressive protests by the Ma Ba Tha and ANP has created suspicions that they are being backed by the military, according to local activists of Buthidaung.
In the remote northern areas of the township, many including infant children have been killed in recent months, according to testimonies of newly arrived refugees in Bangladesh.
Most of the cases have gone undocumented.