Fighting continued between the military and Arakan Army (AA) rebels in western Myanmar, specifically southern Chin state and northwest Rakhine state, as of Monday, February 25. On Monday, the military confirmed the death of an army major from clashes near Mrauk-U (Rakhine state) on the evening (local time) of Friday, February 22. The AA also claimed it had killed at least seven other soldiers in Paletwa (Chin state), Mrauk-U, and Kyuaktaw (Rakhine state) on Friday and Saturday, February 23. AA fighters also reportedly kidnapped two soldiers near Paletwa. Fighting is expected to continue in the coming weeks, along with displacement of civilians and possible kidnappings.
Violence resumed in early December 2018 between Rakhine separatists and the military. Some 2500 people have been displaced due to the violence. The Arakan Army seeks greater autonomy for Buddhists in Rakhine state.
Individuals in Rakhine and Chin states are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant and military activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Travelers are advised to avoid all but essential travel to Rakhine State, except the southern townships of Kyaukpyu, Ramree, Munaung, Toungup, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali), and Gwa.
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