EU latest statement on violence in Rakhine State

Border guard police at Goke Pi police outpost in Buthidaung township, Rakhine State on 16 January 2019. Photo – EPA

The Heads of Mission of the European Union Delegation, EU Member States accredited to Myanmar, Canada and Norway released the statement on “the further escalation of violence in Rakhine State” on 14 March 2019.

According to the statement, EU mentioned that the armed conflict between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military Rakhine in southern Chin States is bringing the loss and violence to many lives and also causing humanitarian situation worse.

A lot of violent attracks such as the fresh attack on 9 March 2019 that nine policemen were killed by gunshot from an Arakan Army (AA) on the police station in northern Rakhine State “can never be justified”.
Therefore, it is the time that all attacks against police duties, civilian authorities and individuals must be stop.

“The EU, Canada and Norway reiterate the call for restraint on all sides.” according to the statement.

The statemant also addressed “the Union government is open to talks with the Arakan Army”, and that the EU, Canada and Norway expected every parties to use this opportunities to find a solution for Rakhine’s historical conflict “through dialogue and an inclusive political process.”

Relating to the order from Myanmar’s government that restricted aid oganizations in five townships in Rakhine State (Rathedaung, Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Ponnagyun and Kyauktaw) since early January 2019, the EU, Canada and Norway urged all sides to follow the international humanitarian law and allow humanitarian aids to access the area.

The statement emphasized that access restrictions are causing serious effects to at least 95,000 people and in order to prevent the situation from getting worse, “seasonal agricultural and rehabilitation works must be allowed to be carried out before the start of the rainy season.”

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