Clashes between government troops and the Arakan Army (ethnic Rakhine rebels) left at least six people dead and five others wounded in Buthidaung township (Rakhine state) late (local time) on Thursday, March 21. Related fighting is expected to continue in Rakhine state over the coming weeks, along with the displacement of civilians and possible kidnappings.
Violence resumed in early December 2018 between Rakhine separatists and the military. The Arakan Army seeks greater autonomy for Buddhists in Rakhine state. According to the Myanmar office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 7500 displaced people are scattered across 29 sites in Rakhine due to the violence.
Individuals in Rakhine state 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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