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Government Seeks to Resettle Wa Paik Villagers in Inhospitable Areas

RB News 
January 24, 2017 

Maungdaw, Arakan – Displaced Rohingya villagers from Wa Paik Hamlet of Kyee Kan Pyin village tract are refusing to settle into new locations where the Government proposed to move them into new model villages. 

Today, January 24th 2017, at 9:30 AM villagers from Middle Hamlet and Wa Paik Hamlet were in a meeting with the Maungdaw Township adminisration at the associate high school in Kyee Kan Pyin village tract. 

In the meeting the township administrators said that the authorities are planning on building a new model village for the villagers displaced from Wa Paik. A villager from Wa Paik warmly welcomed the offer from the administration. 

At the same time another villager from the Middle Hamlet informed the Township Administrator that they were forced to leave their homes by the military and that they were pushed out of their village. The villager said they were now taking refuge in in other villages since they were not allowed to return home. He said all their belongings were lost or looted, including even the wood and pillars used to construct their homes. The administrator responded by saying he would arrange the return of the villagers as soon as he could. 

The villagers from Wa Paik said they felt the administrator intentionally avoided mentioning that the model village would be constructed in a new area, so many in the meeting were very happy with the offer by the Township Administration. The Ministry of Information later posted about the meeting on their Facebook page where they explained that the planned area for the model village would not be in Wa Paik Hamlet but in another location instead. The villagers from Wa Paik lost their homes in arson attacks they attribute to Myanmar Security Forces in reprisal for attacks against the Border Guard Police on October 9th, 2016. 

Details have emerged that the Government is planning on building the model village on the roadside of Kyee Kan Pyin-Zan Paing Nyar, located inside Kyee Kan Pyin village tract, and on the roadside of Kyee Kan Pyin-Kyein Chaung, located in Nwar Yone Taung village tract. These locations are known for salty soil and poor access to drinking water. Realizing this, villagers informed RB News they would not agree to resettle in these locations because of of how difficult it will be for them to live and farm there. They said they will request the government to resettle them back on their own land in Wa Paik village. 

Additional reporting by Rohingya Eye.

Kyee Kan Pyin Middle hamlet villagers forced to leave homes on October 23, 2016.

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