Internet services were temporarily suspended in nine townships in Rakhine and Chin states late (local time) on Friday, June 21. According to Telenor Group, the Burmese Ministry of Transport and Communications ordered telecommunications companies to suspend internet services in the townships due to "disturbances of peace and use of internet activities to coordinate illegal activities." A timeline for the restoration of internet services in affected areas was not immediately reported.
Internet disruptions are expected to continue in Rakhine and Chin states over the near term. Related demonstrations are possible in affected areas amid a heightened security presence. Clashes between protesting residents and security forces cannot be ruled out.
As of June 18, a nighttime curfew had been extended in several Rakhine state townships - including Kyauktaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, Ponnagyun, and Rathedaung - until further notice.
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 and 730,000 people in neighboring Bangladesh.
Individuals in Rakhine and Chin states are advised to monitor developments, prepare for continuing telecommunications disruptions, 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.
Copyright and Disclaimer