10/11/2019, 08.37
MYANMAR
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Over 60 thousand displaced by Rakhine conflict since end of 2018

In addition to the ethnic group that gives its name to the territory, among the communities most affected are the Mro and the Chin.  They survive thanks to the aid provided by the World Food Program, the Red Cross (ICRC) and the local government.  The refugees are too scared to return to their villages: "We hear the sound of gunshots and there is the threat of landmines".

 

Naypyidaw (AsiaNews) - Since December last year, when fighting between the Tatmadaw (Burmese army) and the Buddhist rebels of the Arakan Army (Aa) intensified, in the north of Rakhine State more than 60 thousand civilians have become internally displaced  (IDPs).  The humanitarian workers of the Rakhine Ethnic Congress denounce  that in addition to the ethnic group that gives its name to the territory, among the most affected communities are the Mro (Rakhine sub-group originating from the remote highlands) and the Chin.

The refugees come mainly from eight municipalities in the north of the state: Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Mrauk U, Minbya, Myebon, Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw.  Since adequate jobs are unavailable, they survive thanks to the aid provided by the World Food Program (WFP), the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Rakhine government.  Since last August, these IDPs have been suffering from hunger but are too scared to return to their villages.

U Tun Tun is one of about 700 Mros who found refuge in the 151 bamboo barracks of the Upper Myat Lay refugee camp, which takes its name from the nearby village in the municipality of Ponnagyun.  The makeshift facility is located near the Yangon-Sittwe motorway and has been welcoming displaced Mro people for over nine months.  "In mid-December - U Tun Tun told the Irrawaddy newspaper - we fled first to a village in the municipality of Kyauktaw and stayed there for two weeks.  So we reached Upper Myat Lay with the boats.  We were placed in the monastery and later transferred to this new camp in July ”.

"We have no work - he concludes - and it is not possible to continue living like this.  But if we go back, how can we work on our farms and collect vegetables in the jungle?  We hear the sound of gunshots and there is the threat of land mines ".

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