Violence Could Occur for a Third Time if the Government Doesn’t Handle it Effectively: Local Residents

Minbya: Local Arakanese residents from Pan Myaung in Arakan State’s Minbya Township said that communal violence will erupt again for a third time if the authorities neglect to control the provocations of Muslims in the region.

Their warning came after an Arakanese youth identified as Maung Soe Win, son of U Maung Ba Chay from Pan Myaung Village in Minbya Township, was seriously wounded in a group-attack by Muslim men from nearby Nagarar and Lakma Villages.

“Now Arakanese have stopped fighting but Muslims have continued with their provocations. Maung Soe Win, a youth from our village, was seriously wounded as he was attacked by around 20 Bengali Muslims with slingshots and arrows while he was watching his paddy fields outside the village. He is now being treated in the public hospital in Minbya,” said an elder from Pan Myaung Village.

He also added” The attackers have also stolen two oxen from the fields. The problem will escalate again if the responsible authorities do not take any action to prevent such attacks.”

The police and army are said to have made some inspections on the spot of the incident, but still neglected to take any action against the attackers after the villagers have complained.

A village elder said that those Muslim attackers also set fire to over 300 bundles of paddy sheaves being kept in the fields by the Arakanese farmers in Uyintaung Village near Pan Myaung.

A school teacher from Pan Myaung also said it is now difficult for Arakanese to travel to Minbya by boat as the Muslims living in the villages on the river bank attack the boats with slingshots and arrows as well.

“It is now not easy for us to travel by boat. The Muslims living on the river bank on our way to Minbya attack the boats with slingshots and arrows. There is now no rule of law in our township at all” said the teacher.

According to Arakanese, the Muslims are still able to attack them with their homemade weapons in Minbya and Mrauk-U Townships as the authorities have yet to seize weapons from them.

An activist from downtown Mrauk-U also said, “The local army and authorities have gunned down Arakanese during the unrest. They have arrested only Arakanese. But they have not taken any action against Muslims yet. They seem to be afraid of pressure by the international community and Muslim countries. So, they do not dare to take any action against Muslims despite their physical assaults on Arakanese.”

There have been similar attacks by Muslim groups and the authorities such as the army and police have neglected to deal with them despite complaints by Arakanese before this renewed wave of violence began on the 21st of October in a number of townships in Arakan State.