Burma Times Correspondent: June 08, 2015
Locals in Santouli in Akyab say they are facing starvation as the government has tightened restrictions on movement in the area. Earlier the government refused entry of humanitarian relief to their areas since 2012
As there is no work in their run down neighbourhood, there is no livelihood option.
As a result, without any work or relief, residents are facing starvation.
Residents say they can only eat when food is smuggled from the outside. Recently, the restrictions on movements have been made very harsh and there is little opportunity to travel outside the neighbourhood. The authorities claim that Rohingyas are not allowed outside their neighbourhoods for their own safety.
Those who can leave Santouli escape to Bangladesh or get on a trafficking boat.
Residents say that although they know very well the circumstances on the trafficking boat and Thailand, they still prefer to take their chances rather than die slowly in Santouli.
During 2012, Santouli like many other Akyab neighbourhoods put up a ferocious resistance in face of Rakhine mobs. Later security forces moved into the area under machine gun fire and the Rakhine mobs engaged in a pogrom of rape and murder. Many Rohingya men were arrested and some died under torture. Many are still in prison.
One woman in Santouli says that after this monsoon season has ended, there will be few left in this neighbourhood as many are eager to get on the boat and escape. Those who cannot take this journey say they will run to Bangladesh.
Starvation like conditions are prevalent in other Rohingya areas throughout Arakan.