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Myanmar security forces committed rape, and mass arrests against Rohingya Muslims in June according to a new Human Rights Watch report.
It said the attacks happened after forces had already stood by during an outbreak of sectarian violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Arkan State, which resulted in dozens of deaths and many villages destroyed.
Phil Robertson, the Deputy Director of Watch’s Asia Division, said that many lives would have been saved if government forces intervened from the outset:
“What was consistent in this narrative was that there was a government failure to intervene, and that meant that the people from the both sides began to arm to defend themselves. And ultimately, a lack of government protection meant that emboldened partisans on both sides more thoroughly planned and executed coordinated attacks on the other side. So in rather short order, the situation descended to chaos.”
The report entitled: ‘The Government could have stopped this,’ also says that over 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have been displaced and are in need of food, shelter and medical care after the government restricted humanitarian aid.