News Alerts

03 Sep 2019 | 11:38 AM UTC

Myanmar: Internet service partially restored in Rakhine and Chin states townships September 1 /update 12

Myanmar News Alert

Authorities restore Internet service in five townships in Rakhine and Chin states September 1; residual communication disruptions expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/3/2019, 12:00 AM until 9/10/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Rangoon). COUNTRY/REGION Rakhine, Chin state

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Event

On Sunday, September 1, Telenor Group has announced that the Burmese Ministry of Transport and Communications had lifted the shutdown on internet service, in five out of nine affected townships located in Rakhine and Chin states, including in Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Rathedaung, and Myebon (Rakhine), and in Paletwa (Chin). Authorities claimed the decision came after a "restoration of peace and stability" in those areas.

Internet service remain suspended in the Rakhine townships of Ponnagyun, Mrauk-U, Kyauk Taw, and Minbya.

Residual internet and communication disruptions are likely in other areas of Rakhine and Chin states over the coming days. Related demonstrations are possible amid a heightened security presence. Clashes between protesting residents and security forces cannot be ruled out. 

Context

On June 21, internet service was temporarily suspended in nine townships in Rakhine and Chin states due to "disturbances of peace and use of internet activities to coordinate illegal activities" according to the authorities.

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.

Advice

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.

 

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