Apr 6, 2009

Forced relocation for border fence in Maungdaw

Some families in Maungdaw Township have been ordered by the Burmese army to relocate because their houses are located near army godowns where many goods, including barbed wire fencing and cement, are being stored, said a resident who is among those being asked to move.

“They ordered us last week to move from the village as our houses are close to the army godown but they did not instruct on where we have to go,” he said.

The households that have been asked to move are in Ka Yin Chaung Village in Maungdaw, and have been in the village for generations.

“In our village there are only ten houses, and among those, three have been ordered to relocate by army officials from the engineering battalion who came to our area recently to implement the border fence project,” the resident said.

The three households that have been ordered to move are those of Daw Thit Mu, U Sein Hla, and U Zaw Chay. All three are Arakanese Buddhist.

A relative of Daw Thit Mu said, “They do not know where they will be moving because they are unable to buy plots to build their new houses on because they are poor families.”

According to local sources, the three families are now facing many problems with the forced relocation, and have requested help from elders in Maungdaw.

This is the first time families have been ordered to relocate for the fence construction along the border, but many lands that are located near the fence site are being confiscated by the army authorities without compensation.



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