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No improvement in Rakhine socio-economic and security conditions despite ceasefire

  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 12 April 2023
  • | Viewer: 384

Narinjara News, April 12,  2023

Despite the ceasefire between the military council and Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State has been lasting over four months, there is no significant improvement in socio-economic conditions compared to the period of conflicts, said local politicians and residents.

On 26 November 2022, the military council reached a mutual understanding with the AA for a humanitarian ceasefire. But no substantial progress except reopening of some previously closed roads  is observed in the State.

The transportation of essential items like medicine and other household goods still remain restricted, stated U Aung Thaung Shwe, a Rakhine politician and a former representative of Pyithu Hluttaw from  Buthidaung township.

"We have observed almost no progress after the ceasefire. The UN and INGO representatives have only been allowed to work. But there is nothing special for the public. Rather some goods are restricted now,” he added.

Military council chairman senior general Min Aung Hlaing visited Sittwe, Thandwe and Kyaukphyu townships in three programs during the ceasefire and visiting the international business blocks he discussed regional development activities, but still there is no noticeable
improvement in Rakhine State.

"Senior general Hlaing during his visit offered incentives to some businessmen and people close to him only. There is nothing for the public. We cannot even expect much from a dictator,” he asserted.

Some roads and waterways which were closed during conflict days are now open, but the Ponnagyun-Rathedaung connecting road remains closed.

According to the businessmen, the Rakhine people are observing higher prices for goods compared to other States, as they have to pay money for the permission to transport goods on various reopened roads.

"Now we are facing a very difficult situation. There are a lot of difficulties for the Rakhine people with increasing transportation expenditures. Prices of healthcare appliances and medicines are growing every day. With very little opportunities for employment, the
people are surviving by begging. Incidents of robberies are slowly increasing,” said one trader.

Daw Moe Moe, a housewife from Ann township, said that they have not observed much differences. People are still suffering from the after effects of war. The economic and social conditions are now worse than earlier, she added. Since the military coup in Myanmar, the prices of essential
commodities like edible oil and fuel have been increasing in Rakhine State. Local people are struggling to survive amidst incidents of  thefts, robberies and other major crimes.

As the law enforcement agency remains weak, the residents have taken the responsibility to monitor the situation in their neighborhoods during night hours.

During a meeting with Rakhine government officials on 31 March, senior general Hlaing mentioned about the high number of unlawful cases in Rakhine State. He even emphasized on addressing the issues, but the criminal activities in the region are still going on.

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