In a significant and controversial move, the Myanmar Army has issued an order for the recruitment of military personnel directly from Rohingya Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Sittwe. According to sources that have yet to be confirmed, this directive dated January 20, 2024, mandates the camp management committees to enlist individuals from each camp to bolster military efforts against the Arakan Army.
The recruited Rohingya IDPs are set to undergo military training and will be armed for engagement in the conflict. The recruitment strategy involves selecting one individual from each longhouse, where typically 8 families reside, amounting to 30-40 shelters in every camp.
The implications of this recruitment drive are deeply concerning. The involvement of the Rohingya people in the armed conflict poses a significant risk, potentially making them targets for both the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military. Furthermore, this situation could lead to the forced displacement of the Rohingya from the IDP camps, gradually diminishing their population in Sittwe and surrounding areas to an alarming extent. This unfolding scenario raises serious human rights and safety concerns for the Rohingya community.