“Villagers being deliberately starved, regularly beaten, raped or murdered”; Situation Report on western Burma; January – April 201520 May 2015 Arakan State
Raw field report from FBR’s Arakan and Western Burma Coordinator.
“The border areas of Burma, Bangladesh and India are some of the most isolated in the world and the people are extremely poor because of communication and security problems, lack of education, ignorance of the situation amongst the international community and a lack of resources – the average wage is only two US Dollar per day for hard labor.
“Burma is one of the poorest countries in the world. And Chin and Arakan States are the poorest states in Burma.
“In this border area thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and unregistered refugees are living due to civil war and forced relocation. They do not want to return to their home villages because of continuing oppression, persecution and violation of human rights and do not believe in the ceasefire agreement.
“All the time villagers face being deliberately starved, regularly beaten, raped or murdered; when Burma Army soldiers enter a village they shoot any villagers who try to escape.
“Some of the villagers are accused of helping armed groups operating in the area and are then killed.
“If people get fever they have a very difficult time to get even simple paracetamol tablets. They do not have any chance of getting malaria tests. Each year, many people die of malaria, dysentery and other diseases.
“In addition the IDPs and unregistered refugees are facing shortage of food because last year there was drought in the rainy season; the villagers do not have food so for the IDPs and unregistered refugees who have nothing the situation is even worse. As a result disease is killing even more IDPs.
“In the border area of Burma nothing changes due to the military backed government and military power dominates there. The headmen of villages power is given by the Army; he was not elected by villagers.
“Currently in the Western Burma border area more than ten armed groups are operating from Burma, Bangladesh and India. Some organizations are fighting the Burmese, some organizations are fighting India and some organizations are fighting Bangladesh for their freedom, justice, peace and ethnic rights.
“So, this border region is very complicated and everybody is in fear for their security.”
At this time the situation in Western Burma has become even more anarchic. Outbreaks of fighting between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army resistance group have occurred throughout March and April and hundred of people have been freshly displaced. With recent reports of the Burma Army preventing food and aid reaching combat zones creating major hardship there are real concerns that these fresh outbreaks, if they continue in the run up to the November election, will push what is already a critical situation into a full blown humanitarian crisis.
Thank you and God bless you.
Free Burma Rangers