As International NGOs supporting communities throughout Rakhine State, we express deep concern for displaced communities and others affected by the upsurge in fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and Myanmar Military. Fighting, attacks, and reports of abuse have invoked fear and anxiety among local communities and displaced an estimated 5,000 men, women, and children. We condemn the violence and call on all sides to show restraint and ensure the protection of civilians.
Humanitarian access is now extremely restricted in 5 key townships where violence and resulting displacement has been most pronounced. Without effective and ongoing access, the ability of local and international organizations to provide life-saving assistance to all conflict-affected communities in central and northern Rakhine is seriously compromised.
We commend Rakhine civil society organizations, the Red Cross movement, and other agencies already responding to the urgent needs of displaced and other affected people. We are however very concerned that this response will not be sufficient to meet the humanitarian needs of an estimated 5,000 people now displaced in Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun and Rathedaung, with further fighting and displacement expected.
We stand ready to support all conflict-affected communities and complement ongoing response efforts as needed. Local and international organizations should be granted rapid, unfettered and sustained access to all affected populations to independently assess needs and provide comprehensive assistance and protection to all communities in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
The current upsurge in violence threatens the safety of civilians and re-confirms that the key drivers of insecurity and violence in Rakhine need to be comprehensively addressed, as outlined in the recommendations put forward by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.
Action Contre La Faim
Consortium Dutch NGOs
Danish Refugee Council
Lutheran World Federation
Norwegian Refugee Council
Peace Winds Japan
People In Need
Save the Children
World Vision International