United Nations, Jan 9 : Renewed violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, from where about a million Rohingyas have fled since 2017, has displaced thousands of people in the past week, a UN spokesman said.
Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, on Tuesday said that since the latest eruption of violence last Friday, an estimated 4,500 people have fled their homes in the state, Xinhua news agency reported.
The violence was touched off by a rebel raid on government security forces, the same tactic by the Rohingya in August 2017 triggering alleged military retribution, which led to the Muslim minority exodus from the largely Buddhist nation.
“The UN Acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Knut Ostby, is deeply concerned about the situation in northern and central Rakhine state,” Dujarric told reporters at a regular briefing, adding he regrets the loss of life and offers his deepest sympathies to the families of the police officers who were killed.
According to published reports, 13 police officers were killed in the raid on four posts in Buthidaung of Rakhine and the military set out to clear militants from the area.
In addition, some 2,500 people were uprooted in December by increased violence in the state.
All sides have been urged to ensure the protection of civilians and uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law, Dujarric said.
“Ostby further appeals to all sides to intensify efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation and to ensure humanitarian access to all people affected by the violence,” he said.
In the 2017 exodus, more than 900,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to neighboring Bangladesh and another 200,000 into India, Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, according to the UN Refugee Agency.