Malaysian aid for Rohingya arrives in Rakhine, says Myanmar

Malaysian aid for Rohingya arrives in Rakhine, says Myanmar

The supplies will be delivered to 190 villages and camps in places like Sittwe and Maungdaw by Feb 25, according to the government's Facebook page.

Flotilla arrives in Myanmar

YANGON: Humanitarian aid from Malaysia, meant for Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya community, has arrived in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine state in west Myanmar.

Malaysia dropped off the supplies at a Yangon port about two weeks ago.

On Wednesday (Feb 22), the Myanmar government announced in a Facebook post that the supplies had been delivered from Yangon by a military ship.

It added that the donations will now be delivered to 190 villages as well as camps for internally displaced people in Rakhine in places such as Sittwe and Maungdaw by Feb 25.

Aid flotilla in Myanmar (1)

(Photo: Facebook/State Counsellor Office Information Committee)

The Rakhine state government and international organisations will help to disburse the aid.

Amounting to about USD$1.1 million, the 500 tonnes of donations from Malaysia includes instant noodles, hygiene kits and bottles of mineral water.

The supplies are meant to help the Rohingya, who have been affected by the Oct 9 attacks at three Rakhine border posts in Maungdaw, in which about 10 security personnel were killed.

Since the attacks, authorities have locked down the Maungdaw area in Rakhine and conducted a clearance operation to identify perpetrators and suspects.

According to the United Nations, the security operations caused over 70,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, forcing at least 20,000 to be newly displaced within Rakhine.

Allegations of atrocities such as summary killings, arbitrary arrests and rape by the security forces against the Rohingyas have also surfaced since Oct 9.

The Myanmar government has largely denied many of the allegations. Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya, identifying them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Malaysia had been one of the more outspoken critics of the Myanmar government, accusing them of inaction.

The country had intended to deliver and distribute the donations personally to the Rohingya in Rakhine, but the Myanmar government refused that, saying the local authorities will disburse the aid fairly, ensuring that both communities of Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims receive the supplies.

Malaysia has also delivered around 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Bangladesh, where many of the Rohingya have fled to and are now seeking shelter.

Source: CNA/hs