SITTWE, Rakhine State — Six Rohingya were killed in a fire at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rakhine State’s Sittwe on Thursday.
The fire started around 11 p.m. after embers from a kitchen fire burned nearby bamboo matting at the IDP camp in Ohn Taw Che of Se Thama village tract in Sittwe, said the head of the Rakhine State Fire Services Department U Thaw Dar.
“Fifteen buildings burned down and six people died,” U Thaw Dar told The Irrawaddy, adding that the fire was put out around 1 a.m. on Friday.
Each of the one-story buildings measured about 45×30 feet, had eight rooms, and were bamboo structures with corrugated iron roofs.
The fire displaced 882 people from 141 households, who have been temporarily accommodated at the houses of their relatives.
The Ohn Taw Che IDP camp shelters people who came from Kyaukphyu and Pauktaw after inter-communal violence broke out in 2012.
The Rakhine State government had to open IDP camps mainly for Rohingya in Sittwe, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw, Myebon, Ramree and Kyaukphyu townships after sectarian conflict arose in Rakhine in 2012. The state government has been attempting to close these camps since 2014.
So far, Set Yoe Kya and Set Yone Su IDP camps in Sittwe, an IDP camp in Kyaukphyu, an IDP camp in Ramree and an IDP camp in Kyauktaw have been closed. The state government is also preparing to close Myebon and Pauktaw IDP camps.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.