Ten thousand villagers flee Kyauktan

30 June 2020
Ten thousand villagers flee Kyauktan
Rakhine people who fled Rathedaung township due to an ongoing conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, arrive in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar, 27 June 2020. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA

Although the Myanmar army reversed plans to empty dozens of villages in Rakhine state to pursue the Arakan Army after criticism from Western diplomats over the weekend, a local lawmaker said Monday that 10,000 civilians had fled their homes as reports of artillery fire raised fears of an attack, according to RFA.

Local officials in northern Rakhine state told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Friday that soldiers had ordered a village tract of 17 communities housing some 10,000 people emptied for “clearance operations” against the Arakan Army (AA).

Word of the army’s reversal did not reach people in Kyauktan in time, said Khin Maung Latt, a Rakhine lawmaker in Myanmar’s upper house of parliament.