Myanmar army forces Rohingya, Muslim conscripts to work at Chinese-backed development projects in Rakhine State

After subjecting young men in the Kyauktalone displaced persons’ camp to military training, the army is now using them as a captive labour force, assigning them to stand guard and dig ditches at the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone

The Myanmar military coerced around 50 displaced Muslim and Rohingya men from a camp in Kyaukphyu Township, Rakhine State into working as ditchdiggers and security guards last week outside a development and construction project with heavy Chinese investment. 

They were assigned to these duties near the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and deep sea port project, which constitutes a vital Chinese interest in Myanmar.

Army officers, citing the Myanmar regime’s new conscription policy, had previously forced young men from the camp to undergo basic military training. 

As the military loses ground to anti-junta forces in Rakhine State, the regime has resorted to pressing vulnerable men from Rohingya and other ethnic minority communities into service, including deployment to the . . .

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