Displaced Population in Myanmar’s Rakhine State Reaches 100,000

The number of civilians displaced during the past year amid an uptick in armed conflict in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state has reached more than 100,000, a regional relief organization said Monday, as authorities continue to limit area access to groups providing aid.

The new figure based on on-the-ground surveys of internally displaced persons (IDPs) by the Rakhine Ethnic Congress (REC) is an increase from the relief group’s November tally of 92,500 villagers who had fled their homes due to fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army (AA).

Hostilities between the two militaries intensified in late 2018, as the AA stepped up its efforts to achieve greater autonomy in Rakhine and establish a headquarters there. After AA fighters conducted a deadly attack on police outposts on Jan. 4, 2019 — Myanmar’s Independence Day — country leader Aung San Suu Kyi ordered the government army to crush the rebels.

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