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Authorities ban food shopping for Rohingyas in Aung Mingalar, Sittwe

Policemen stop civilians at one of the road blocks that surround Aung Mingalar, Sittwe’s last Muslim quarter that is home to 6,500 people. (Photo: Jpaing/The Irrawaddy)

RB News 
July 29, 2013

Sittwe, Arakan - In Aung Mingalar quarter in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state. Rohingya residents are facing a food crisis. This has been ongoing over the past two weeks as the commandant of the no. 12 police battalion banned food shopping.

After the violence broke out in Sittwe in June of last year, Rohingyas have been prohibited to leave Aung Mingalar. The movement restriction that was imposed, saw a selected few that were allowed to leave the blocked village twice a week to shop for food. Normally, security forces escort the Rohingyas from Aung Mingalar to the market nearby The-Chaung. 

Now the commandant of the police battalion says that they can no longer escort the Rohingya. He says that they are unable to protect them against the attacks of the Youth Monks Union in Sittwe. According to residents, it has been two weeks since they have been able to buy food.

“The security forces escort us twice a week. We had to go Sunday and Wednesday. We had to leave at 4 am and needed to return at 6 am. As we can’t go to the main market in Sittwe, some of the shop keepers come down to nearby The-Chaung. So we can buy the stuffs there. Now it has been two weeks we can’t go any more as the authority banned us going for shopping. We are facing serious crisis for the foods.” a Rohingya resident of Aung Mingalar told RB News.

“We needed to pay from 120,000 Kyat to 150,000 Kyat per week to the commandant of police battalion and other ordinary police. We needed pay all the staff just to escort us.” he continued.

Another a Rohingya said “The president said he will tack action whoever creating the problem in the country. But now this Youth Monks Union of Sittwe is barring us from shopping the food stuffs and the police are unable to control them. So whatever told by the president is just talking. We will be in big trouble by starving if this continues.”

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Rohingya Exodus