At least four previous Rohingya villages have been replaced by government facilities but the government denies building over Rohingya lands.
Entire villages by Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have been demolished to build government buildings, police barracks, and refugee relocation camps according to a report published Tuesday by the BBC.
The BBC calimed that four locations that were Rohingya settlements in the past have been replaced by government facilities. However, the government denies building over Rohingya lands.
The Myanmar government took BBC journalists to Hla Poe Kaung transit camp which was completed two years ago and apparent temporary housings for Rohingya “returnees”, was built on site of two Rohingya villages Haw Ri Tu Lar and Thar Zay Kone. The villages were demolished after the 2017 genocide.
In 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar during a military operation which was called a "textbook ethnic cleansing" by the United Nations.
Myanmar’s majority Buddhist community was accused of orchestrating the genocide. The refugees mostly fled to neighboring Bangladesh and Myanmar who had said they are ready to take some refugees back.
However, Rohingyas are not ready to go back fearing they would face the same persecution back home.
According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which had analyzed satellite images, 40 percent of Rohingya villages which faced destruction in 2017 had been demolished by the Myanmar government.
In Kyein Chaung, a relocation camp, the journalists found out that housings were built by Indian and Japanese government funds as long term houses for returning refugees. The camp was built over a Rohingya village called Myar Zin which was bulldozed in 2017.
The camp is also situated near a new barracks for the Border Guard Police which was accused by Rohingyas of abuses in 2017. Three officials confirmed the demolition of the village when they spoke off-camera, the BBC said.
The journalists found evidence of demographic change. For example, at least three-quarters of Inn Din village had a Muslim population and the rest was Rakhine Buddhists. But now the village only has the Buddhists and all the Muslims were driven out. In 2017, Myanmar military assassinated 10 Muslim men in September 2017 in Inn Din.
Even though Myanmar says they want Rohingyas back, the persecuted community would not be able to get back their old lives or communities as their lands and villages were changed by the authorities.
The internally displaced Rohingyas who are living in camps had warned refugees in Bangladesh not to come back as they would be confined to guarded camps and not be able to access any rights.