UN expert urges Rakhine govt of Myanmar to grant access in conflict affected areas

Amidst increasing violence in the northern and central Rakhine state and the Chin state of Myanmar, the United Nations expert on human rights has called on the government to give access to all humanitarian organization in the area.

Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, called on the State military and ethnic armed groups, to show restraint and protect civilians.

He said that “blocking humanitarian access is a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

The Rakhine state government had sent a letter on January 10 to the UN and international humanitarian agencies to suspend their activities in the five townships in northern Rakhine that are affected by the conflict: Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw.

Arakan Army separatists and the Myanmar military have been engaged in heavy fighting in the areas since November last year.

The expert also raised concern over the “exacerbating divisions among communities in an already fractured state, further complicating the complex situation that exists in the country”.



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