3,000 Out of 8,000 Lockdown Villagers Are Starving in Ann Township Under the Myanmar Army Restriction and Road Blocks in Southern Rakhine State, Myanmar

502 IDP refugees in Dar Let village tract and took shelter at Buddhist temple. Photo was taken at the temple on May 3, 2020 


AN. Sittway. June 28, 2020.

 

Villagers from Nat Maw and Dar Let West report they are starving, and some have little foods remained. 

 

Total of 8,000 local residents in Dar Let village track are facing food shortages and blocked access to buy rice and basic commissariats in neighboring markets. 

 

Myanmar army has imposed curfew law and blocked roads and waterways access in the communities for 6 months. 

 

The local people and Rakhine based news outlets are reporting 3,000 residents are critically facing shortage of foods, and some are starving.

 

Daw Ma Than, village woman from Dar Let West, said, “People are starving in Nat Maw, Dar Let North, Dar Let South, Dar Let Ah Let, and Ah Let villages.” 

 

“We cannot go and buy foods and also have little cash since we have been blocked to go to Ann and Zu Kaing to buy rice and basic commissariats for 6 months.”

She said, “All roads are blocked. We cannot go to Ann. When we go to Zu Kaing by boats, the soldiers shot the boats, arrested the villagers, and confiscated foods. We are starving now.” 

Dar Let village tract has 48 villages, and over 8,000 residents, mostly Chin communities, are effected for food shortages. 

 

“Daw Ah Mon*, charity organization worker from Yangon, sent 5,000,000 Kyat a couple days ago. But it does not enough to buy foods for 8,000 people. Besides, we cannot buy rice, dry fishes, and other things to feed the people,” Ma Than said.

 

She said Myanmar army and Arakan Army had fought near Nat Maw and Dar Let West on June 1 and June 6. 

 

Myanmar army shelled into Nat Maw village and killed two civilians and wounded 3 villagers on June 26. 

 

Fifty soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 80 searched and confiscated private properties in Dar Let West on June 27. 

 

International humanitarian organizations and local charity organizations do not report on the critical situation of 8,000 residents who are immediately facing food shortages. 3,000 residents out of 8,000 villagers are immediately starving. 

Ma Than said, “Very serious, very critical, immediate threat. Some people are starving now. No one cares us. No international organization comes and helping us. We have to die.”

The most effected people facing shortage of foods are Chin communities, 60 percent of residents. 

 

Arakan News agency has been reported thousands of people have been facing shortage of foods and roads blockage and restriction of war transportation since earlier May. 

 

Our news reporters managed to speak to Daw Ah Mon in Yangon last month. 

 

She told our news she was collecting donations from individuals Rakhine communities of Ann township, who live and work in Yangon. She said the cash collections did not enough to feed thousands of people for week and very month.

 

She said the most difficulties she facing were to buy rice and basic food stuffs and to deliver the foods to the communities. She said she bribed some people at the checkpoint (our news keeps the names of security organizations that received the cash bribes from her for security reasons) when she delivered small amount of rice and other food stuffs to the villages. 

She told to our news in early May that “It is too little for too many needy people. I worry they will die for starvation in long run.” 

Ah Mon* is changed her original name for security reason. 


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