ActionAid strongly condemns the attacks carried out on 25 August and the spiralling violence that has followed across Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. We are deeply concerned about reports of loss of life and the immense suffering that is producing the displacement of thousands of people from their homes and livelihoods. The Myanmar government should ensure their responsibility and obligation to protect the civilian population trapped in the military and police operations in North Rakhine State. Violence is not a long-term solution to the challenges faced by all populations in Rakhine State.
ActionAid requests all parties to exercise restraint and prevent the further escalation of conflict in the area. It is also crucial that Myanmar national and local authorities facilitate access for UN agencies and international, national and local NGOs able to provide aid and immediate relief to the civilian population affected by the ongoing military and police operations. We are particularly concerned about reports of the impact that the conflict and displacement is having on women and girls. The Bangladesh government and local authorities should continue to ensure the safe passage of Rohingya people fleeing the violence and providing aid to upon arrival.
ActionAid has been working in Myanmar since 2001. We work with the most marginalised people in nine of Myanmar’s states. We collaborate with international NGOs (INGO) and work closely with national and local civil society across the country. This collaboration among INGOs has the only goal of being side by side with local authorities and civil society in times of natural disasters as well as contributing to build a peaceful and prosperous future for Myanmar, supporting in particular the most remote regions and those most vulnerable. We consider that the accusations against INGOs insinuating their involvement in the recent attacks is not only unfounded but has a detrimental impact on the people of Myanmar, particularly those most vulnerable.