State government fails to convince IDPs to move to undisclosed location
Burma Times Correspondent: February 07, 2015
Attempts have been made to implement the controversial Rakhine State Action Plan on refugees in Kepru IDP camp near Akyab on February 1.
A delegation of the state government met with refugees of the IDP camp and promised them freedom of movement, livelihood opportunities, proper shelter and other facilities if they agreed to move to a locality specified by the government instead of their former neighbourhoods.
The former neighbourhoods of these Rohingyas have been taken over by Rakhine nationalists in the 2012 riots.
The population of the IDP camps numbering around 140,000 people are forbidden by security forces from moving out leading to a desperate humanitarian situation as there are little livelihood options. International media has described the IDP camps as open air prisons where food rations, housing conditions, sanitation and other basic amenities are deplorable.
Despite such a desperate humanitarian situation, the Rohingyas, fully aware of the Rakhine Action Plan rejected the offer and told the authorities they refused to move elsewhere other than their former neighbourhoods.
The Rakhine Action Plan has been described by human rights organisations as the blueprint to segregate and ultimately drive the Rohingya Muslims out of the country altogether. One of its provisions is to transfer Rohingyas to remote places.
The Rakhine Action Plan accidentally leaked to the media last year was condemned by rights groups but the latest incident shows the government is determined to go ahead with the plan.
The attempt to take Rohingyas to undisclosed locations comes less than a month after Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn told Myanmar Times that the plan is being reviewed.