Rohingya killing resumed defying ICJ order
Published: 04:07 PM, 25 January 2020 Updated: 07:53 PM, 25 January 2020
Two women were killed and seven others injured after Myanmar troops shelled a Rohingya village on early Saturday, two days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) -United Nations’s highest court - ordered the country to protect the Muslim minority.
Hague-based ICJ on Thursday ordered Myanmar to protect the Rohingya against further atrocities and preserve evidence of alleged crimes after the west African nation the Gambia launched a lawsuit in November accusing the country of genocide.
Shells fired from a nearby battalion hit Kin Taung village in the middle of the night, on Saturday said Maung Kyaw Zan, a national member of parliament for Buthidaung township in northern Rakhine state.
“There was no fighting, they just shot artillery to a village without a battle,” he told Reuters by phone, adding it was the second time this year that civilians had been killed.
The military denied responsibility, blaming the rebels who they said attacked a bridge in the early hours of the morning.
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee northern Rakhine state in 2017 after a military crackdown that the UN has said was executed with genocidal intent.
More recently, the region was plunged into further chaos by fresh fighting between the military and the Arakan Army, a rebel group that recruits from the mostly Buddhist majority in the state. That conflict has displaced tens of thousands and killed dozens.
Of the several hundred thousand Rohingya still in Rakhine, many are confined to apartheid-like conditions, unable to travel freely or access healthcare and education. They are caught in the middle of the fighting, and travel restrictions mean they are less able to flee than Buddhist neighbours.
In early January, four Rohingya children died in a blast the military and rebels blamed on each other.
Two military spokesmen did not answer phone calls from Reuters seeking comment on Saturday’s deaths. In a statement posted on the Russian social media network VK, the army confirmed the deaths but blamed the Arakan Army, saying its artillery had hit the village during clashes.
Accounts belonging to the Myanmar military were removed from Facebook and other social media networks in 2018 over spreading “hate and misinformation”.
Soe Tun Oo, a Rohingya villager living a mile from the village, told Reuters by phone two houses were destroyed in the explosion.
“The military always shoots heavy weapons… They shoot heavy weapons around the area they suspect. It is impossible to flee to other places, even though we are scared.”
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