Abandoned Rohingya homes razed in northern Rakhine village

Burning homes in Nyaung Chaung village in northern Rakhine State on Oct. 3, 2018.
Burning homes in Nyaung Chaung village in northern Rakhine State on Oct. 3, 2018.

Three homes belonging to Rohingya villagers who fled Rakhine State for Bangladesh last year were burnt to ash on Wednesday night, sources in the area reported on Twitter and other social media.

The homes were located in Nyaung Chaung village, Maungdaw Township. According to Myanmar state media, more than 1,400 Rohingya villagers fled the village last year, during military clearance operations. The village’s chief was quoted as saying the village was not affected by the operations, which were launched in Oct. 2016 and Aug. 2017, but he also said the refugees were “worried about their future” and were unable to work in the area.

No one was in the houses when the fires were started, and no one was hurt. Rohingya villagers living in the area eventually put out the fires, but not before the homes were destroyed.

The culprits behind the fire have not been identified.

The Myanmar government and local businesses are currently supporting the construction of new villages where Rohingya villages used to be and inviting non-Muslims from around the country to live in them.

Myanmar signed an agreement with two UN agencies in June to organize the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. Myanmar claims that over 100 Rohingya refugees have voluntarily returned, but the UN says none have been repatriated through the agreement.

Many Rohingya refugees have said they will not volunteer for repatriation until they receive guarantees of security and citizenship.

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