The United Nations and the Norwegian Refugee Council ask the Myanmar government to allow aid organization to help refugees displaced by the recent surge of violence in northern Rakhine after they were previously banned by the government.
Laura Marshall, acting country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Myanmar expresses her concern about populations in Rakhine who are now confronting armed conflict without aid access “It is crucial that humanitarian actors are allowed to respond to their needs, which include food, water and shelter,”.
The UN also joints the call and comments about the fundamental rights that the Rakhine citizens should be able to access. “We hope the government responds positively to our call for rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access, and to ensure the protection of civilians in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights laws,” UN spokesman wrote via an email.
The recent conflict in Rakhine is the fight between the Arakan Army and the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) that started in November and reached its peak in January 4 when 13 policemen were killed and 9 were wounded by the Arakan Army.
On December 21, the military declared a four-month ceasefire in several areas where it is fighting armed ethnic groups, excepting Rakhine.
After the armed fight has increased in Rakhine, the Rakhine government has banned all humanitarian aid groups from villages in northern Rakhine due to security concerns.
According to the state government’s information department, the ban also includes the townships, Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw and Rathedaung in Rakhine State
The Rakhine government said only the International Committee of the Red Cross and World Food Programme are exempted from the ban.