Friday, 15 November 2019

Maungdaw township authorities last week forbade displaced Rohingya villagers from resettling back in their original village of Bakaguna, Bakargonenah village tract, according to Halim, a human rights monitor from Maungdaw.

U Myint Khine, the Maungdaw township administration officer, gave the order to the Bakargonenah village tract administration officer, saying that the Bakaguna village area – about four miles north of Maungdaw town -- had been confiscated, and no one was allowed to stay there.

Sixteen families from Bakaguna, who had been sheltering in Hla Poe Kaung village (known as Sor Fordin Bil in Rohingya) in northern Maungdaw, returned to their own village one month ago, and built makeshift shacks over their original homes, which had been burned down by Burmese security forces in August 2017.

Last week, a group of immigration officials went to Bakargonenah village tract, and saw the shacks in Bakaguna village. They took pictures of the shacks and submitted them to the Maungdaw township authorities, according to Halim.

The Maungdaw township authorities have now ordered the villagers returning to Bakaguna, to move to the nearby villages of Kawlizabanga or Habib.

This is the first time that authorities have openly forbidden Rohingya villagers from returning to their original homes in Maungdaw.

“The Burmese government announced on November 16, 2018, at press conference in Naypyidaw that they would allow Rohingya returning from Bangladesh to stay in their original villages, but they are lying,” said Soe Naing, a Rohingya activist from Maungdaw.

There were originally over 200 Rohingya households in Bakaguna village.