Clashes between the Arakan army (ethnic armed group) and the Burmese army are ongoing in a number of townships in Rakhine State. Despite the onset of the rainy season, there has been no let-up in the clashes or in the Arakan Army’s capacity to mount attacks. Officials and political leaders in Sittwe state that the attacks sought to demonstrate the Arakan Army’s capacity to strike in a heavily protected area, despite the military’s significant presence here.
On 21 June, the Ministry of Transport and Communication directed all telecoms companies to "temporarily" suspend internet services in nine townships in Rakhine and neighbouring Chin states, citing "disturbances of peace and use of internet activities to coordinate illegal activities". Network data restrictions are still in place.
The conflict has already displaced approximately 35,000 people. Access for ongoing programs (including a large Development component) is even more restricted, affecting 95,000 people. The lack of support to rural populations will negatively impact the food security situation in Central and North Rakhine.