The scorched earth strategy was masterminded by Dictator General Ne Win in 1963, who was inspired by Japan’s ‘THREE ALLs’ (‘Kill all, Burn all and Loot all’) tactics.
It was called ‘SWEEPING’ an area “suspected villagers and burning their villages”.
The Four Cuts is intended to cut off food, funds, intelligence and recruits to ethnic insurgencies. Often referred as “NO MAN’S LAND” policy in 1990s, it is directly commanded by the office of commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
The War Office ordered to execute “anyone including children, women and elderly persons” after Rohingya insurgents clashed with Myanmar police on August 25, 2017.
Min Aung Hlaing’s army now deploys the Four Cuts policy, sweeping Rohingya-majority townships – Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung by burning, looting, killing and displacing countless of Rohingya.
It directly cuts off food, aid and communication, essential for Rohingya population in the region.
The strategy has already led to more than 3,500 Rohingya civilian deaths, particularly in the isolated Rathedaung, which is the farthest of three townships from the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, and whereabouts of tens of thousands of Rohingya civilians are yet to be known.
It also destroyed at least 5,000 Rohingya infrastructures including schools and religious buildings.
More than 150,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, and hundreds of thousands remain stranded at the border while many boats capsized killing women and children. An estimated 30% of Rohingya population in the three townships is being displaced as the Four Cuts Strategy speeds up.
The continued violations of human rights as its multitude of destruction of Rohingya civilians’ properties and lives, clearly amount to “crimes against humanity”.
The international silence must now be broken before it is too late.
The U.N. Fact-finding mission is needed more than ever now.
*** At the time of publication of this article, the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh was 78,000, which continues to rise as days pass by.