The numbers of war refugees in Kyauktaw Township, Arakan State is increasing according to local residents.
Residents from villages near to where there has been fighting have moved to Sapar Seik Village in Kyauktaw Township. On 24 April there were 400 refugees in the village, but by 25 April the number had risen to 500 according to Ko Zaw Win from Kyauktaw Township who met with the refugees when he delivered assistance to them.
On 25 April he said: “According to information received by us and the authorities there were only 407 [refugees] in recent days, but, this morning the authorities told us there are now 574 refugees.”
The 400 refugees who were already in Sapar Seik Village came from Aung Lan Chaung, Kalar Kya, and Pin Lon villages. Those who have arrived since 25 April are from Bin Chaung village in Kyauktaw Township.
U Maung Zan Oo, village head of Sapar Seik confirmed that the number of refugees was increasing.
On 26 April he said: “It [the number of refugees] has increased since yesterday. Men still go between here and their villages which is why there are not more than about 500 refugees on the list.”
At present the refugees are staying at the primary school at Sapar Seik Village and they are facing hardships in making a living for themselves.
Ko Zaw Win said: “Our group’s food assistance is only convenient for one or two meals. Since local residents cannot move as freely as before the refugees still need assistance.”
The Sapar Seik Village Head said that the Burma Army, the Arakan State Government, social organisations and health departments are helping to support the refugees.
Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) forces have been fighting since the beginning of March and are still active in the border area between Arakan State and Chin State in Kyauktaw Township in Arakan State and Platwa Township in Chin State.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI