European Rohingya Council says government complicit in attacks on police that sparked atrocities
World Bulletin / News Desk
Hla Kyaw, chairman of the European Rohingya Council (ERC), said the killings of police in Rakhine State, where most Rohingya live, on Oct. 9was organized by military intelligence as justification for repressive measures against Rohingya.
"The Myanmar military intelligence department indirectly supported a group of desperate Rohingya youths to create a gang and manipulated them to attack security forces in order to legalize their illegal attack on the community," he said.
"We do not support any kind of violence. We condemn this killing."
Hla Kyaw said that local villagers informed the police of the gang's intentions "but police kept silence and did not do anything to stop it."
He added: "So that means the government is behind this attack in order to justify their actions against Rohingya."
Nine police officers were killed in attacks on posts in Maungdaw, a district in northern Rakhine near the Bangladesh border. The killings sparked a violent wave of reprisals against the civilian population.
During these operations, the UN and rights groups have produced evidence of widespread abuses by security forces such as killings -- including of children and babies -- gang rape, brutal beatings, the burning of villages and disappearances.
The council said more than 400 people were killed in the crackdown, which officially ended on Feb. 15, and around 400 women were raped, including children aged 12. Approximately 1,500 houses were burnt down, Hla Kyaw said.
During the operations, at least 93,000 people were displaced, with the majority fleeing to Bangladesh, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
As well as provoking the attacks against police, Hla Kyaw accused the government of setting the Muslim and Buddhist communities against each other in Rakhine.