Thursday, 21 March 2019

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Western Commander Brig-General Soe Thein has been in Maungdaw since March 23 to check the situation in the area and to survey the establishment of Natala (model settlement) villages, according to an aide from the District Authority office.

The road of Western Commander enter to Maungdaw from Akyab by road


“The commander entered through Magyichaung (Maungdaw South), which is the river connection with Akyab and Maungdaw south , on the evening of March 23, and stayed overnight in Burma border security force (Nasaka) Sector No. 7 (Alaythankyaw).”

“The commander surveyed along Nasaka Sector No. 7 and 8 (Myinthlut) where the Natala villages are situated. He checked in the villages for progress on rebuilt houses, roads, fences, and village security.”

The commander surveyed Maungdaw north on March 24 at Nasaka Areas 1, 2, and 3 where the commander met with concerned authorities in the area to discuss the recent rumors of links between the Taliban and members of the Rohingya community, said an aide from the Nasaka Headquarters.

On the evening of March 24, the commander visited the Nasaka Headquarters where he checked on the Rohingyas who were arrested on allegations of links with the Taliban, the aide said.

“When the commander visited the Nasaka Headquarters, the arrested Rohingya were wearing fresh clothes. No information has come out about the commander’s comments.”

The commander left Maungdaw today morning to Buthidaung and then to return to his station.

There has been no information about, or contact with, Maulana Farid, said local villagers from Kamaung Seik Village.

“But, Maulan Farid is alive and in Nasaka custody, but he has become weak,” said an aide from the Nasaka.

“The supposed links to the Taliban are a creation of the members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in Maungdaw, and an excuse to harass the villagers of Kamaung Seik as the villagers supported the Rohingya political party National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD) in the 7 November 2010 national elections,” said a local politician from Maungdaw.

A press release was issued by seven Rohingya political organizations on March 24 to strongly condemn the Narinjara News Agency for its role in dispersing false information and describing innocent Rohingya people as suspected Taliban members.

“According to a pre-planned scheme to extort money from the Rohingya, Nasaka collaborators informed the Nasaka of the area that some insurgents had entered northern Maungdaw and held a meeting with people in Kamaung Seik Village (Fokira Bazaar), whereupon taking advantage of opportunities and circumstances, the Nasaka started arresting and torturing the innocent villagers arbitrarily. So far, about 50 innocent Rohingya villagers have been arrested under false allegations of having links with insurgents, which the Narinjara News Agency fabricated as Talibans in its news on 20 March 2011,” the press release stated.

The seven Rohingya political organizations that issued the statement are the National Democratic Party for Human Rights (in exile) (NDPHR in exile), the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO), the Arakanese Rohingya Community in Thailand (ARCT), the Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan (BRAJ), the Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia (BRCA), the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), and the Rohingya Community in Norway (RCN).