Myanmar burned dozens of Rohingya homes despite refugee deal

Vastavam web: Myanmar’s army burned down dozens of Rohingya homes within days of signing a refugee repatriation deal with Bangladesh, showing the agreement was a mere “public relations stunt”, Human Rights Watch said today.The rights group, citing analysis of satellite imagery, said buildings in 40 villages were destroyed in October and November, increasing the total to 354 villages that had been partially or completely razed since last August.Deadly attacks by Rohingya insurgents on August 25 prompted a ferocious military crackdown on the Muslim minority living in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

More than 655,000 of them have fled across the border to Bangladesh since then, bringing horrific accounts of rape, extrajudicial killing and arson.The US and United Nations have described the process as ethnic cleansing. The UN rights chief has suggested the operation contains “elements of genocide”.”Myanmar is playing the most cynical of games, with Aung San Suu Kyi and her team signing a refugee repatriation deal that contains no real guarantees of protection to returnees, while on the ground the security forces continue their campaign of torching the villages the Rohingya want to return to,” Phil Robertson, deputy director of HRW’s Asia division, told AFP.

Aid groups have said they will boycott any new camps set up in northern Rakhine.The military has put the number in the hundreds and denied targeting civilians or committing atrocities, while Suu Kyi said major security operations stopped in early September.