News Alerts

24 Oct 2019 | 04:40 AM UTC

Myanmar: Military and rebels clash in Rakhine state October 19-21

Myanmar News Alert

Fighting breaks out between military forces and rebels in Rakhine state on October 19-21; further violence expected in the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/19/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/2/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Rangoon). COUNTRY/REGION Rakhine, Mrauk-U (Rakhine state)

Event

Burmese military forces engaged Arakan Army (AA) rebels in Rakhine state from Saturday, October 19, through Monday, October 21. According military officials, most of the fighting occurred around Mrauk-U township and the village of Latkar. The army’s commander in the region claimed that nine rebels were killed and a number of soldiers were wounded in the during the operations. A spokesperson for the AA issued a contradictory statement, saying that 35 soldiers died in the clashes. The rebels also claimed to have recovered weapons and ammunition. Villagers in Latkar said the fighting forced almost all residents to flee the area and soldiers have occupied the area for over five days. Shelling in other areas, including Rathedaung, Buthidaung, and Minbya townships has also reportedly resulted in civilian casualties.

Further fighting between military forces and rebels is anticipated in Rakhine state in the near term.

Context

Violence between Rakhine separatists and the military resumed in early December 2018. 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 state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, report suspicious objects and behavior to police, 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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