Narinjara news

Renewed forced relocation of villagers in Arakan State of Burma

Maungdaw, 25 Jun. 02: Thirty-nine families of a village in north-western part of Arakan State in Burma were relocated between June 7 and 16, a village councillor in the area told our correspondent.

The villagers hailing from Zedibraung village under Laungdung village tract of Maungdaw Township were forced to evacuate under the orders of the District Peace and Development Council from their ancestral village. They were moved to Chaung-they-braung (Sin-the-byin) village, in the northern part of Maungdaw.

The relocation has left the villagers landless and homeless. Though the monsoons are in full swing now, they have been left with no pieces of agricultural land to do cultivation, the only profession they have been grown up with. Besides, due to the torrential rains, the villagers have been facing much difficulty in building houses in the new location which is situated in the inaccessible parts of the township where there are practically no road links, and materials like bamboo, timber and thatch for building houses are not available in the nearby hills and environs.

When asked a villager who was being relocated told our correspondent that, the Nasaka border security forces have evacuated the villagers in response to the murder of four Nasaka members with a prostitute in November last in the camp close to the village. The murderers decamped with the arms and ammunitions in the camp. As no evidence or clue has been found that could lead to the arrest of the murderers even after illegal detention and physical torture of many of the villagers including women and teenagers, the security forces have again and again alleged that the four villagers who have been absconding ever since the incident were the murderers. They have also alleged that the four villagers have crossed the border with the arms and ammunitions. The Nasaka have also been allegedly accusing the villagers as accomplices of the murderers.

“For this reason the act of relocation was done as an act of retaliation of a murder we the villagers even don't have a hint of,” the villagers demanded. #