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March 2024

Episode: KPN 24-03-2024

Kaladan Radio March 24, 2024 1804 9

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The military council threatened to deport Kyauk Phyu Muslims who did not want to serve in the military

The Junta is threatening to deport individuals currently fleeing the Kyauktalon Muslim refugee camp in Kyaukphyu Township, Rakhine State, for defying conscription laws, and to arrest their family members who remain in the camp.

Muslims currently fleeing the camp said that the Junta soldiers are threatening to deport them upon their return.

“If we do not want to be deported, we need to go back to the camp quickly, or else they will deport us and arrest our families. Our relatives who stayed behind at the camp informed us about this”, a Muslim man who fled the camp told DMG.

On February 22, Junta troops arrived at the Kyauktalon refugee camp, housing approximately 1,000 people, conducting a census of the male residents, assessing their health, and actively promoting military enlistment.

The next day, around 30 men and women who refused military service fled the camp, while 117 men who stayed behind were forcibly abducted by Junta soldiers.

“We decided to flee after midnight, and the next morning, soldiers surrounded the camp and forcibly arrested over 100 people, including our relatives,” explained a woman among the escapees.

The Muslim men and women who fled the camp are currently seeking refuge in an area under the control of the United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA).

Individuals compelled into conscription, estimated to be aged between 30 and 50, are presently undergoing military training at the local 34th Battalion in Kyaukphyu.

The international Muslim community vehemently condemns the Junta’s forced recruitment of Muslim refugees into military service.

“We are refugees facing difficulties in meeting our basic needs due to restrictions of movement. The Junta’s exploitation of our vulnerable situation for military purposes is a grave injustice”, another individual fled from the camp, said.

DMG attempted to reach out to the Junta’s spokesman, Major General Zaw Min Tun, regarding allegations of coercing Muslim refugees into military service, but calls went unanswered.

On March 17, The New Light of Myanmar, controlled by the Junta, refuted allegations that Muslims are being compelled to serve in the military, dismissing them as unfounded rumors.

However, since the second week of this month, online circulation of video footage depicts the Rakhine State Security and Border Affairs Minister personally inspecting military training sessions for young Muslims in Rakhine State.

Amid a series of setbacks on the Rakhine warfront and continuous loss of towns, the Junta is resorting to desperate measures by forcing Rohingya Muslims to the frontlines.

On March 17, following the battle to capture Rathedaung Township, AA reported the discovery of bodies belonging to Muslims who had undergone recent military training and were coerced into the frontlines by the Junta.

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