12 more security camps to be built in Maungdaw

Win Maung (Maungdaw)

Twelve more major security camps would be built in the ethnic villages of Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lieutenant General Ye Aung told a crowd of refugees at the refugee camp being opened at Alodawpyae Buddhist monastery in the township yesterday.  

The minister also promised to double the town security. The monastery abbot stressed the need to take regional security measures in the long term, not temporarily. The minister replied that long-term projects would be implemented to help develop the region.

Together with Lt-Gen Ye Aung at the refugee camp was Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye and Rakhine State Minister for Social Affairs Dr. Chan Tha.

Asked about the continued measures for the issue of the refugees who have left their homes in fear of terrorism, the state minister said: "We will send them back only if they are willing and feel secure. They told us they want to return but demanded two points—security and food. We are planning to fulfill these two requirements. For security, we are planning to build defence and security camps in the ethnic villages. We will start tomorrow. We will protect our indigenous people by providing full security. When they receive protection, their families will come back. Actually, those villages have not been destroyed. Home owners, especially men left themselves behind. They have farmlands. They are all willing to return. But they are concerned about their security. So the government must do it."

Dr. Chan Tha continued to say that plans are underway to build 12 major security camps adding that over 20 security camps have already existed.

"There will be more than 30 camps in total. We will provide more security deployments. We are also planning to build roads connecting ethnic villages," he said.

Since terrorist attacks on the three border police posts on October 9, the ethnic people have fled their homes and there have been nearly 3,000 at refugee camps.