Lawmakers Say 3,000 Fresh Villagers Fleeing From the East and West of May Yu River in Rathedaung Township Amid Increasing Clearance Operations in Rakhine State, Myanmar

Villagers are fleeing in Kan Pain village in Rathedaung township on August 10, 2020
AN. Sittway. August 12, 2020.

Three thousand fresh villagers have been fleeing from 10 villages in the east and west sides of May Yu River in Rathedaung township since August 9 and during the Myanmar army escalating clearance operations and after several villagers were injured in Kyaung Taung village by the shells fired from Myanmar navy.

“The villagers are fleeing to Buthedaung, Rathedaung, and Sittway from the east and west sides of May Yu River. I have never seen it before such wider scale of villages are searched by the army columns in the region,” said Lawmaker U Khin Maung Latt. 

He said Rakhine State government rejected he and his colleague, state lawmaker U Tin Maung Win, appealed to Rakhine State Government to build a temporary Internally Displace Person Camp in a football playground in Rathedaung. He said there is no enough space and place to accommodate in the town for the fresh IDPs recently running from 10 villages. 

Rakhine Ethic Congress (REC) reported in July 19,272 IDPs have been living in temporary camps and monasteries in the town and nearby villages.

“It is too many IDPs in the town. We need more spaces to host and help the fresh fleeing refugees,” lawmaker U Khin Maung Latt said. 

The new comer refugees are facing very hardship in lack of shelters and foods in Rathedaung. Some villagers are fleeing to Buthedaung and Sitwtay where they can have shelters. 

The most effected and running refugees are from The Mee Hla Ywar Thit and Tha Mee Hla Ywar Houng villages in the east of May Yu River and Kyaung Thaug, Aung Si Kone, Pyin Wan, Kan Pyin, Pyin Shey, Doe Way Chaung, and Oh Pauk villages in the west side of river. 

Tens of thousands of farmers cannot do farming in this raining season in that region after they are fleeing and seeking shelters in towns and IDP camps.

A local human rights documentation institute—Arakan Information Center (AIC) reports until July 2020, Myanmar army has killed 285 civilians, injured 570, and arrested 606 villagers since the military has been launching offensive operations in Rakhine State and Paletwa township in Chin State in January 2019. 

AIC reports it has recorded 45 villagers have been disappeared, and 233,451 civilians have been displaced until July 2020. 

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