Myanmar Soldiers Seal Off and Interrogating Every Villager in Ponnaygun Township, Rakhine State

Rakhine villager slept at Buddhist temple after the soldiers forced them out of the village in March 2020

Sittway. April 26, 2020.
Government soldiers storm Yae Hpyu Kan village, Ponnaygun township, at 4 AM this morning and interrogate every villager. 

This is the second time 50 soldiers from Ponnaygun based Light Infantry Battalion 550 search the village.  

They had previously seared the village on April 22 but did not make any arrest.

Charity volunteer in Ponnaygun reports the soldiers force the village chairman to call everyone in the village to gather at his house with the family registration card, a document issued by immigration as birth certificate to every household and named as family try. Then the soldiers interrogate individually.

“Yae Hpyu Kan is hosting 700 newly arriving Internally Displaced Person in the camp. They have been taking shelter since April 16 after the army launched heavy military operations in the entire parts of northern Ponnaygun and affected 10 villages,” said the volunteer who does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

The refugees come from 10 villages: Doe Tan, Nat Taung, Let Wea Sar Taik, Thae Hpyu Chaung, Hpet Kya, Kyar Nyo Kan, Thar Zay, Alay Gyun, Aung Hpyu Kan, and Kyauk Seik.

These villages are empty now and farmer cannot do farming this raining season. 

The volunteer said, “The military operation and the government security force interrupt very normal structure of civil life, food productions, and trading that have been functioning for centuries as rural and poor villagers who live with hand-to-mouth and inherent and basic survival circulation. Now, these ten villages were intentionally destroyed by the army they might have in mind that these villages were a pool for the Arakan Army to swim. It is wrong and it is war crime.” 

The same battalion that killed 8 villagers and arrested 39 villagers in Kyauk Seik searched Nat Seik two days ago. The villagers reported they destroyed grocery shops and stolen goods. 

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