|Village women with her children were fleeing from Ken Pyin village in Rathedaing township on June 27.|
AN. Sittway. July 6, 2020.
Local charity organizations reported 5,000 residents from Dar Let village track have been fleeing to Ann and nearby villages in Rakhine during the fresh clearance operation launched by the Myanmar army since June 27.
Dar Let village track is located in northwest of Ann and contained with 48 villages, mostly Chin ethnic communities.
According to the villagers and charity organizations, reginal commanders of Myanmar army met Buddhist monks and elderlies in Dar Let on June 27 and verbally told the military would launch clearance operation in some villages and instructed the residents to leave.
Within one week of clearance operation order, 5,000 residents have sought refuge shelters in Ann, headquarter of Western Military Command, Zu Kaing, and Kanhtaungtkyi villages.
The military recently reopens the road blocks that have been sealed off for 6 months that forced tens of thousands of residents in starvations.
Arakan Army Spokesperson Khine Thu Kha said, “Thousands of residents are fleeing from their villages for the starvation and clearance operation. Myanmar army has been blocking the roads and sealed off the villages while launching ‘4-cut’ operations for months, mostly cutting of food supplies. The villagers cannot go out to buy foods and travel to other places. Thus, they are facing in immediate starvation.”
“It is very clear Myanmar army is committing war crimes. The army is forcing the local villagers for starvation and compounding the communities for more suffering by this clreance operation. It has been done such scorched earth destruction operations entirely. And again, this present development in Ann townships is the same repletion of war crimes,” he said.
Several military battalions from Light Infantry Division 66 and 55 have been searching and arresting villagers and fired shells into the villages since last November.
Two residents were killed and wounded 4 villagers including a two years old child by Myanmar army’s shell in Nat Maw West on June 26.
Dozens of residents have been arrested and missing since last November.
Arakan Information Center (AIC) reported on July 3 and said 233,452 villagers have been displaced, and majority of these internally displaced are living in the makeshift camps and in Buddhist ministries.
This is latest development 5,000 villagers are fleeing in the south during the Myanmar army is enforcing fresh clearance operations in Ann township after the hard-hit region of Kyauk Tan, where over 20,000 residents have been fleeing and sought refuge in Rathedaung, Sittway, Ponnaygun townships since June 25.
These fleeing villagers are mostly farmers. They cannot plant paddies during this right season in June and July. They don’t even know when they will be able to go homes.