January 17, 2017
A large amount of Turkish aid meant for Rohingya Muslims have been siphoned off by village authorities in Kawa Bil, Maungdaw North.
Our correspondent in the area says that around 340 sacks of rice were donated by the The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, popularly known as TIKA. The village authorities led by U Joka Tong gave 44 sacks to Natala households. Out of the rest, 62 sacks were given in Major para, 60 in Wabeik, 61 in Paschim para and 60 in Dakhin para on Friday.
The rest was taken away by the village authorities for their own consumption, with a possible share going to security forces.
Locals say aid given by European and Muslim countries, and international organisations have become a profitable business for security forces who are in control of the Rohingya populated regions. One source said donors are well aware of the embezzlement and carry out their activities with the knowledge that a significant portion of aid will be taken away. The rest is however much needed relief for the desperate Rohingya populace who have no access to essential goods including food and medicine.
Much of the Kawa Bil populace has escaped to neighbouring Bangladesh. The village tract, which is near the Hlun Htein headquarters in the region came under attack in the first days of the crackdown with many killed, raped and tortured. Entire neighbourhoods were evacuated and houses were burned.