Alwaght- New aerial photos of Rakhine state in Myanmar have emerged showing deliberated destruction of Rohingya Muslims' settlements, reinforcing reports of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the minority community.
The haunting photos, recently posted on the Twitter account of the European Union ambassador to Myanmar, Kristian Schmidt, show a scarred territory with large patches of leveled land.
Villages incinerated during the Myanmar military crackdown now appear to have been completely bulldozed, devoid of all structures and even trees.
Chris Lewa, head of the Arakan Project NGO, which has worked for years with Rohingya in Rakhine state, said that "the Rohingyas are shocked to see their villages razed."
"The Rohingya have the feeling that they (the military) are doing away with the last traces of their presence in the region," Lewa added.
They also fear the upcoming rainy season will further wash away any signs of their past lives, she noted.
Photos posted on social media after a diplomatic tour of the conflict zone in Rakhine state last week appear to back up speculation that the recent crackdown against the Rohingya is a push to rid the country of the minority for good.
Almost 870,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh, including about 660,000 who arrived after August 25 1017, when the Myanmar army started a new round of violence against this minority group. Last month, Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF said that at least 6,700 members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority group were killed in ongoing state-sponsored ethnic only in a period of one month beginning on August 25.
Last December, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein said genocide charges could be brought against Myanmar following the country’s campaign against the country's Rohingya Muslims.
He noted that attacks on the Rohingya had been “well thought out and planned” and he had asked Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to do more to stop the military atrocities.
Zeid has already called the campaign “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and asked rhetorically if anyone could rule out “elements of genocide”.