Burma Times Correspondent: August 25, 2015
Rohingya community leaders in the Aung Mingalar quarter of Akyab city are expressing dissatisfaction with relief operations carried out by WFP alleging they are biased in favour of the Rakhine community.
This is the first time that Rohingya leaders are openly voicing dissatisfaction over the operations of the UN agency.
According to Abdu Monaf from Akyab, WFP has much supplies stored in their warehouses, supplies that are desperately needed by Rohingya IDPs. Living conditions in the infamous IDP camps of Arakan state has been described by international humanitarian organisations as the worst in the world.
Monaf alleges the WFP has crumbled under pressure from Thein Sein’s government and is following the official state policy of prioritising the needs of the Rakhine Buddhist community over the Muslims.
Another community leader Rahim Ullah says that while they are used to discrimination from the government and local aid agencies, it is the first time in their history that the WFP has also discriminated against the Muslims. “We never thought the WFP would discriminate against us,” says Rahim Ullah.
Noor Alam, another committee member from Akyab says the WFP is following the government lead and bypassing the Rohingyas. He also alleges the organisation instead of giving aid to the affected people gave it to government collaborators who instead of distributing them shared it with security forces and village administration.
In other areas, he alleges the WFP often gave Rohingyas food rations which were seized by Rakhine miscreants the minute the officials left the area.
Our correspondents have reported multiple incidents in which food rations were seized after WFP officials left and also cases of embezzlement by corrupt Rohingya administrators.
It is however not possible to independently confirm if the WFP is actually treading the government line and favouring the Rakhines at the expense of Rohingyas. However if such allegations are true, they would be a continuation of the policies followed by much of the international community that has ignored human rights violations directed against the Muslim community to win favours with the regime that rules over this resource rich country.