MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar authorities have lured dozens of mainly Buddhist Bangladeshi tribal families to cross the border and resettle on land abandoned by fleeing Muslim Rohingya, officials said Monday.
About 50 families from remote hill and forest areas on the Bangladesh side, attracted by offers of free land and food, have moved to Rakhine state in mainly Buddhist Myanmar—the scene of a brutal army crackdown which prompted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee, AFP reports.
The families from the ethnic Marma and Mro tribes have left their homes in the Bandarban hill district, local councillor Muing Swi Thwee told to media.
He said 22 families departed from their villages in the Sangu forest reserve last month.
The families, mainly Buddhist but with some Christians, were being “lured by Myanmar” to Rakhine where they were given free land, citizenship and free food for five years, Muing Swi Thwee said.
“They are going there to fill up the land vacated by the Rohingya who have left Burma (Myanmar). They are extremely poor.”
Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine for camps in mainly Muslim Bangladesh since Myanmar last August launched a crackdown which US and UN officials have described as ethnic cleansing.