YANGON | satellite images appeared to show 200 houses destroyed in Rakhine state (North-West) would be evidence of a new war crime in Myanmar, according to the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), who called Tuesday for an independent investigation to establish accountability.
During a bloody crackdown in 2017, the burmese army had forced some 740 000 muslim rohingyas to flee the country, which is equivalent in Myanmar being accused of genocide before the highest court of the UN.
Today, in the same region, the military are engaged in a dispute with the Army of Arakan (AA), insurgents fighting for greater autonomy for the minority rakhine.
From January 2019, dozens of civilians have been killed, hundreds wounded, and some 150,000 displaced in the face of intensifying violence.
The analysis of satellite images showed that at least 200 homes have caught on fire on may 16 in the village-majority rakhine Let Kar in the township of Mrauk U, was announced by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday.
This act has “all the marks of the methods used by the military on villages in rohingya” in the past, said deputy director of the NGO for Asia, Phil Robertson.
“A survey in a credible and impartial is urgent”, he added.
Nobody would have died in the attack, most of the people who fled in April of last year.
Kyaw Zaw Hla, 46-year-old, who lives in a nearby camp, confirmed that her house is part of the dwellings razed.
“We lost everything”, he told AFP by telephone.
“We have no way to earn our living and we have no access to health care.”
The burmese army and the Army of Arakan deny any responsibility, accusing the other party of committing what might constitute a war crime according to HRW.
Photos published by the armed forces show “the insurgents of the AA, who run away after having set fire to the village,” said Friday the spokesman of the army Zaw Min Tun, a charge denied by the AA.
The area ravaged by this conflict is the subject of a cut-off of the Internet and is forbidden to journalists, which makes it difficult to independent reporting.
Last month, Yanghee Lee, an expert in Human rights, had already called for an investigation for possible war crimes and crimes against Humanity.
She had accused the burmese army of having made disappear, to be tortured and killed dozens of members of the AA, claims immediately denied by the army.