A UN statement released on Tuesday, April 9, stated that up to 30 civilians were killed in a military attack in Rakhine state on Friday, April 5. The engagement reportedly occurred in the areas around Buthidaung township. Military officials blamed the incident on the Arakan Army, a rebel group active in the area, and stated that six rebel fighters were killed and nine wounded. Further military and militant activities are expected in Rakhine and surrounding areas in the coming weeks and months and may result in ongoing civilian displacement and casualties.
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 to the situation, 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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