Rakhine Ethnic Congress (REC) demanded the Tatmadaw (Defence Services) withdraw their order given to local people to move from Kyauktan village and nearby areas in Rakhine State.
The Tatmadaw issued this order through the Rakhine State government Border Affairs Ministry to local people to move from their Kyauktan village and nearby areas as the Arakan Army (AA) was deploying their forces in the villages near Kyauktan village and operating in these areas.
Moreover this order warns local people not to harbour AA personnel and those who have relations and contacts with this force.
Zaw Zaw Tun from REC said that they had to make this demand as the order made local people homeless and destitute by turning their villages into a conflict zone.
“In principle, the residential area of civilians should not be turned into a war zone. This principle must be followed by all armed forces. And moreover the armed forces must consider protecting and safeguarding the lives, wealth and property of the civilian people but this order is quite contrary to this principle,” Zaw Zaw Tun said.
The local people would suffer huge losses in their livelihood if these local people could not plough their farmlans in time in this monsoon season, he added.
This order affects over 30,000 people living in 43 villages in the Kyauktan village-tracts.
The local people from over ten villages in Kyauktan village-tracts have reportedly already fled from their homes before this order and they are now taking refuge in refugee camps in Rathedaung town.
House of Representatives MP from Rathedaung constituency, Khin Saw Wai, said that she would like to see peace through dialogue and negotiations since the area clearing operation which would be launched in this area would make difficulties for these local people.
“The area clearing operation will more or less make local people suffering trouble and having difficulty. So I wish they (Tatmadaw) will not do it. I’d like to see them seeking peace through negotiations,” MP Khin Saw Wai said.
It is learnt that some see that the problem would be exacerbated unless the local people obey this order by moving from their homes.
Mizzima contacted Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun from Tatmadaw True News Information Team to ask about the opinion of Tatmadaw on this matter but he did not answer the phone call.
The people who are giving assistance to war refugees said that there were nearly 200,000 war refugees in northern Rakhine State and Paletwa in Chin State since this latest bout of fighting broke out.