People displaced from Rathedaung flee to Sittwe Town

Aung Linn Tun
Narinjara February 21st 2020

Approximately 50 people from Thamee Hla (New Village), Rathedaung, have left their homes due to fighting and have come to seek safety in Sittwe Town.

Before leaving today by ship to travel to Sittwe, the people had stayed in Thay Kan Gwa Sone Village, Buthidaung.

Daw Ma Yay, who had to flee her village, said “we couldn’t stay in the village.  We were running all over the place, staying one night here, one night there, we had to live like that. We can’t afford the money to travel to Sittwe.  I think the money we’ve all managed to pool together is enough to travel to get here”, she said.
She said that once they had left their village they experienced great hardships.  They had to hide in the mud when there was fighting along the roads.  They left Thamee Hla over a week ago, leaving the village at 1am one night.  First they stayed in Ohn Chaung, then Thay Kan Gwa Sone.  From there they moved to Oe Pauk and today managed to take Aung Ta Kun Ferry to Sittwe.

The 50 people who have fled their villages are now currently staying in Nan Shwe Gu Monastery, Sittwe Town. 
Kyaw Min Khine, who is helping those displaced by conflict, said  “Fighting is taking place all the time in Rathedaung.  Everyone has fled.  It’s possible that up to 100,000 people will be displaced from Ratehdaung alone.  There are people from Thamee Hla who are here, people who have had their houses burnt down.  Nearly 50 people have arrived in Sittwe.  There will be more people arriving here in the coming days”, he said.

It is understood that in the last week of February approximately 20 people from Thamee Hla (New Village) have arrived in Sittwe Town.

There are estimates that in Thamee Hla (New Village), Rathedaung alone, 1500 people have fled to Thay Kan Gwa Son.  It is understood that they are preparing to leave for Sittwe Town.
“We are trying to arrange basic necessities as best we can for those displaced for the next few days.  After that we will have to sort something out. We have asked the local CSOs for help.  I hope the authorities will also provide some support” Kyaw Min Khine said.

According to Rakhine Ethnic Congress (REC), there are currently over 10,6000 IDPs in Rakhine State, living in difficulty in camps which lack basic services.