The ruins around the city of Mrauk U, the last Rakhine capital, date back to the 15h century. Mrauk U was prepping to becoming Myanmar’s newest archaeological site on the UNESCO world heritage protection list at the end of last year. But after violence erupted in northern Rakhine state, causing over 500,000 Rohingya refugees to flee, hopes for UNESCO status have been put on hold. Since the violence in August last year there has been a drop in tourist numbers; now the zone around the ruins of Mrauk U stand eerily quiet.
Many ethnic minorities live in Rakhine state including the Mro, Khami, Chin, Kaman Daing Net, as well as the Rakhine and Rohingya. In southern Myanmar around Mrauk U, local businesses are struggling to stay afloat in light of the northern Rakhine conflict.
This photo essay looks at southern Rakhine state around Mrauk U, which hasn’t made the news reports, yet has been marred by the shadow of the Rakhine crisis in the north.
Libby Hogan is a journalist based in Yangon, Myanmar.