Burmese soldiers inciting more conflicts between Arakanese and Muslims

Min Bya: Local residents from Minbya in Arakan State have said the soldiers of the Burmese army are inciting communal strife between Arakanese and Muslims in their area.

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A farmer from Panmyaung Village in Minbya Township told Narinjara that they had to flee from their paddy fields abandoning their paddy harvests as the Burmese soldiers brought dozens of Muslim villagers to their paddy fields on 2nd of January.

“About 60 Muslims led by two Burmese soldiers who are deployed in Nagarar Village came to our paddy fields today when we were harvesting our paddies. All Arakanese farmers had to run away from their fields leaving behind their heaps of paddies and paddy sheaves in fear of attack by the group”, said the farmer.

The farmer said their paddy fields are located in Shwelaungkyaw in Gangar Field between Panmyaung and Pyinyaung Villages in Minbya Township.

“The Burmese soldiers were in their full uniforms with arms and they had brought a large group of Muslims intentionally to trouble us while we were busy with our paddy harvest”, said the farmer.

He said the paddy fields in Shwelaungkyaw are owned by U Thar Sein Aung, U Krun Kyan Aung, U Mae Kyaw, U Hla Tun Sein and U Kyan Sein Aung, who are farmers from Panmyaung Village.

Another local resident also said the Burmese soldiers brought the Muslim villagers to the paddy fields of Arakanese farmers while the two communities are still living in a state of distrust and tension in Arakan State for nothing more than their purpose to reignite another communal conflict between them in the region.

“We believe the soldiers have no purpose other than inciting another communal fight in our region. There is no reason they had to bring the Muslim villagers to the paddy fields where the Arakanese farmers were working”, said the resident.

Nagarar Muslim Village is located between Panmyaung and Shwe Tamar Villages in Minbya Township.

The farmer said they still do not know if the soldiers and the group of Muslim villagers took away or destructed their paddy harvests as they still do not dare to go back to their paddy fields.

An educated youth from the area also said that the local residents and the farmers are now planning to report the case to the higher authorities as well as to the Commission of Investigation for the communal unrest in Arakan State.