Thousands reportedly fled villages in Rakhine state township of Rathedaung on Saturday, June 27, following the circulation of an evacuation order ahead of operations planned by the army against Arakan Army (AA) insurgents operating in the vicinity of Kyauktan. Although the government clarified that the order to evacuate was revoked, a Rakhine state minister clarified that operations would take place in a lower number of villages than the rescinded order had initially suggested and stated that operations could occur for at least a week. It is currently unclear when the offensive will commence.
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 avoid the area, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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