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Maungdaw β€” The three mobile operators that provide services in Rakhine including MPT, Ooreedoo and Telenor have stopped mobile internet traffic in Maungdaw and Buthidaung, according to local customers affected.

The shutdown of services excluding voice and SMS services, came into effect at 10.00 pm local time on the 3rd of February and the customers in the affected areas are being informed via SMS.

Telenor updated in its website over the move that Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has directed all mobile operators to again temporarily stop internet services in five townships in Rakhine and Chin States.

These areas were previously under data network shutdown from 20 June to 31 August 2019.

Though MoTC has referred to security requirements and public interest as the reason for its directive limiting the internet shutdown basically to three months, the locals are worried by possible bad intentions of the government, because the region has been a cleansing operation field for military against Rohingya and a battle field for about one year between Arakan Army and Myanmar Military.

In addition, the region has been a restricted zone since 2012 where tourists, journalists, visitors, etc. are not allowed to go. Movement of the local Muslims (Rohingya) is restricted and they have been facing gross violation of fundamental human rights and an ongoing genocide.

The directive for internet shutdown follows the mutual accusations between Arakan Army and Myanmar military of the intentional victimization of Rohingya in fighting each other, whereas the victims (Rohingya) themselves observed that they are made a common target by both of the rebels and the military in the clashes in between.

Of course, each of them is a witness against other.

According to some observers, the government has taken this action in reaction to ICJ’s provisional measures, where the Arakan Army has shown willingness to cooperate with ICJ in providing evidences of genocidal crimes committed by the military and the government against Rohingya and other civilians.