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Violence in Rakhine State Burma

April 06, 2014

The Australian Government is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Rakhine State, Burma.  Violence targeting UN offices and international NGOs on 26 and 27 March has resulted in the destruction of property and relocation of international and local aid workers, including Australians, to secure locations.

These organisations deliver vital humanitarian, medical and other assistance to communities throughout Rakhine State.  Many communities now do not have access to medical services, water, sanitation and food.

The Australian Government urges the Myanmar Government to provide a safe and secure environment in Rakhine State so that all humanitarian and development personnel can continue providing these vital services.  We also continue to encourage it to address the underlying causes of the conflict there.

I also urge the Myanmar Government to ensure the conduct of the country’s first census in thirty years currently underway in the country is in line with international standards, including in Rakhine State.

Australia is one of the largest bilateral humanitarian donors to Rakhine State, providing $9 million since the violence in 2012 which left 140,000 people in internally displaced person camps.

The travel advice for Burma was reissued on 28 March to reflect the recent violence in Rakhine State.  The Government continues to advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Rakhine State, including the capital Sittwe and areas near Ngapali Beach, given serious civil unrest and ongoing tensions.  The full text of the Government’s travel advice can be found at: http://smartraveller.gov.au

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