An employee with the World Health Organization (WHO) was killed by gunfire on Monday, April 20, when his UN vehicle was attacked in the Minbya township of Rakhine state. The victim was reportedly collecting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) monitoring samples when his vehicle came under fire. Both the Myanmar military and Arakan Army insurgent group denied involvement in the shooting. It is not immediately clear if the killing was targeted or as a result of being in close proximity to clashes that have erupted in the area in recent weeks.
Similar incidents are possible in Rakhine state over the near term.
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 state are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant and military activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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