Than Hlaing, Thar Shwe Oo (Kispa)
Buthidaung- Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) has been threatening villagers living in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships through daily phone calls or text messages.
“Rakhine nationals are the minority in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships. Now that ARSA is threatening residents by phones or by sending text messages or even leaving threatening letters near the villages. The security forces assigned in the area can’t provide protection to these villagers. It shows that there is no rule of law. I visited Thabyaytaw and Inphauk villages with some officials. Villagers there live in constant fear. It is the very first time that ARSA started making threats to the ethnic nationals in the area. They used to just threatened Bengalis and killed them. I’m really amazed that no action is taken yet for the current situation. The villages are only a mile away from the security forces. ARSA’s threats meant that they are challenging the rule of law and order,” said MP Aung Thaung Shwe from Buthidaung Township.
He continued saying that in the area, there are only two Rakhine villages while the rest are Bengali villages. There currently are seven people receiving death threats for, amongst which 5 are Rakhine nationals and 2 are Bengalis.He told government officials that if any Rakhine people were killed, they are responsible because they did not give any protection to them.
He hd also phoned the military operation commander in the region in regards to the threats and the family of those under threat should all be on alert.
“It’s been some days that we received threats. The threats said they will burn down our villages. Township level officials suggested guarding the villages. Without any weapons in our hands, how can we protect ourselves from these dangers? We’d like to request to the government to provide full protection to the villages. Our villages are surrounded by Bengali villages and we don’t know what to do for ourselves,” said Than Win from Thabyaytaw village.