Thousands of people are fleeing from Rakhine

Thousands of people are fleeing the urban and rural areas of Rakhine’s capital, Sitt. The common people are fleeing to various places as they fear that the Arakan Army (AA), a mainly armed group, may attack Sitte anytime.A local resident said, “People are fleeing after hearing the news that the Arakan Army may occupy Sitte. Now they are going to independent areas.

The Myanmar military junta blew up the Ah Myant Kayun Min Chong Bridge on the Yangon-Sitte highway with mines. Basically, they destroyed the bridge to ensure that the Arakan Army fighters could not enter Sitte. This increases the fear in the minds of the common people.

By blowing up that important bridge, the residents were practically trapped. If war breaks out, people are worried about how to escape it. Because of this, people are running away now. It is known that, along with the common people, the family members of the army have also left their homes. At present, one-third of the total population of Sitta resides there.

Some of those who remain are not financially well off, some are elderly, and some worry about their belongings being stolen. Most of those who escaped moved by boat. It costs 50,000 kyats per person to go from one side of the river to the other in Sitte. However, another resident said that the junta forces are also preventing ordinary people from escaping.

He cited the reason that if the Arakan Army attacks, civilians are not allowed to escape so that the army can use civilians as human shields to escape. Meanwhile, a social worker advised the fleeing people to be prepared with enough food and essential items.