Report: Myanmar Muslim women held as sex slaves in army camp
Muslims share relief food from private donors as they take refuge at a stadium in Meikhtila, Mandalay division, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) north of Yangon, Myanmar in this March 24, 2013 file photo. (Photo: AP, Khin Maung Win)
As sectarian-based violence rages on in Myanmar while the army and government stand by despite calls from the international community to ensure the safety of the country’s Muslim minority, a media report added a new twist to the unfolding saga that is highly likely to cause an escalation of the clashes. According to the report, some Rohingya Muslim women are being held as sex slaves in army camps.
A report that appeared on the news portal www.vice.com says dozens of Muslim women are being held as sex slaves at a military base.
The army, which faces criticism and accusations for its failure to establish order and security in areas where Rohingya Muslims live, now faces yet another serious allegation.
UK-based journalist Assed Baig went to Sittwe, where many camps were established for Muslims who fled their hometowns after their homes were burned to the ground in attacks led by Buddhists, to trace the claims.
According to the claims of locals, the army forcefully retains many Muslim women at a military base and uses them as sex slaves. Some of the women have gotten pregnant, the eyewitnesses told the journalist.
The Myanmar government has not issued a statement about the allegations thus far.
This most recent incident will likely add a new dimension to the already fragile situation on the ground in Myanmar. Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims have been killed in the country’s Arakhan state in intra-communal violence.