This update is produced by UNHCR and OCHA in Myanmar, in collaboration with the Maungdaw Inter-Agency Group and broader humanitarian partners. It was issued on 30 June 2020. The next update will be issued as more information becomes available.
The security situation in northern areas of Rakhine State remains volatile, with ongoing fighting and an increased presence of security forces in the area of Kyauk Tan village track in Rathedaung Township.
Humanitarian partners are working to assess the scale and severity of impact on civilians, however numbers are difficult to verify due to fluidity of the crisis.
According to initial estimates, based on reports by local partners and public sources, some 1,500 people have been newly displaced across downtown Rathedaung, with a further 1,300 displaced in Buthidaung, Ponnagyun and Sittwe townships.
Rathedaung hosted some 14,575 internally displaced people (IDPs) prior to the ongoing escalation of hostilities.
Some assistance has been provided to people displaced, but access to assess and respond to needs remains a challenge, particularly in rural areas.
The new displacement is further aggravated by COVID-19 situation, placing affected communities at additional risk, and adding to response challenges.
On 25 June, the security situation deteriorated in the Kyauk Tan area of Rathedaung Township, following an announcement of a “clearance operation” by the Myanmar Armed Forces. While instruction for the operation was revoked by the Rakhine State Government on 26 June, local sources report that incidents continued in the area at the time of reporting.
According to local reports, as a result of an intensification of fighting, an increased presence of security forces both army and navy followed, with reports of shooting as well as shelling across several villages of the Kyauk Tan village tract. The scope and impact of clashes in the area are not fully known at this time, at least in part due to the limited access to the area by humanitarian workers.
On 28 June, the United Nations issued a statement expressing concern over the humanitarian impact of the conflict, and called on all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, protect civilians and infrastructure and allow for humanitarian access. Similar concerns were echoed by the diplomatic missions and the INGOs.