October 1, 2016
The Muslim villages of Anak Parang and Mujai are being gradually depopulated as severe food shortages are forcing Rohingyas to leave the area.
Our local correspondent reports Rohingyas have been cut off from all livelihood options, and there is no food aid. However, those moving out of the villages are from the relatively well off who can afford to settle somewhere else, while the poorest of the poor continue to stay on. Those left often do not eat for days, and generally depend on starch to survive.
While fishing and logging are the two remaining livelihood options for most Rohingyas in Arakan, Rakhine nationalists backed by government forces have long preyed on those who venture out of their territory to reach the rivers and forests from where they derive their livelihood. In Mujai and Anak Parang, livelihood activities have gradually come to a standstill, owing to continuous attacks by hostile Rakhine neighbours. Since then, they have been dependent solely on food handouts.
A report by the Frontier on September 12 confirmed the WFP has cut food aid to internally displaced persons to "support the transition to recovery in [parts of] Rakhine State … from March to December 2016”.
Activists have long warned Rakhine nationalists and government forces have employed a well devised strategy to starve out Rohingyas by preventing them access to livelihood and ultimately force them to leave the country. Locals in Rathedaung say the strategy is working well without attracting international attention.