April 23, 2017
Maungdaw- Villagers at So Parang, Rathedaung have been given strict orders to stay out of the hills, in what looks like a rigorous and systematic measure to starve the Muslim community out of the area, according to local sources.
Announcements were made by loudspeakers and banners were hung throughout the neighbourhoods of the village tract ordering the Rohingyas not to go to the hills.
As most Rohingyas in the village are loggers, the order will result in mass starvation in an area already suffering from chronic food shortages as all livelihood options are now absent.
Rohingya villagers in townships including Rathedaung, Kyauktaw, Mamra, Pathor Keela and Akyab have been surviving in a state of blockade since the riots of 2012. Since October, 2016, the blockade has extended to parts of Maungdaw and Buthidaung.
Rohingya activists have long alleged this is a systematic effort to keep the Rohingyas away from the woods and waterways from where they can earn a living, thus create starvation and force the beleaguered community to move out of the area.
However, this week’s order in So Parang seems to be an even more methodical approach, creating concerns the government will be improvising on the blockade tactic to force Rohingyas to migrate out of the country without capturing the international attention that came with the recent crackdown.