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Human Rights Campaigners Demand UN Inquiry: Burning Down of a Rohingya Village

The destruction of Let Kar village

Human rights campaigners are demanding a UN inquiry into the alleged burning down of a village by the Burmese army.

The destruction of 200 homes and other buildings in Let Kar, Rakhine state, on May 16 is shown in satellite photographs analyzed by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The army admits to being in the area, but says the arson was carried out by the separatist guerrillas it is fighting in an increasingly dirty conflict.

Phil Robertson of HRW said the military had repeatedly covered up its atrocities. “To ensure a credible investigation, the government should request UN assistance”.

Khadiza Begum

50-year-old Khadiza Begum had to run away from her home in Myanmar because of violence that UN investigators described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Khadiza is among several hundred Rohingya Muslims who tried to reach Malaysia but who finally returned to the Bangladeshi shore after the boat carrying them was stranded at sea for two months.

“Nobody knows how many people have died. It could be 50 or even more,” recalls Khadiza Begum.

Neighboring Bangladesh gave her shelter, settling the fleeing Rohingya Muslims in what has now become the world’s largest refugee camp.

Around one million Rohingya are housed in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Aid agencies have been warning for weeks about the potential impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Rohingya refugees –they live in cramped, congested conditions and have limited access to clean water.

“Now that the virus has entered the world’s largest refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar we are looking at the very real prospect that thousands of people may die from Covid-19,” Dr Shamim Jahan, Save the Children’s health director in Bangladesh, said in a statement cited by BBC.