Thursday, February 21, 2019, 08:55:54 PM

UN teams given first access to Myanmar's Rakhine state

International Desk |
Update: 2018-09-12 9:09:33 PM
UN teams given first access to Myanmar's Rakhine state
Photo collected

The UN agencies have been granted permission for the first time to operate inside Myanmar's northern Rakhine state on Wednesday (Sep 12) since more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the area into neighboring Bangladesh last year.

According to reports published in the international media, the UN has been waiting for access to the epicentre of the military's "clearance operations" against the Rohingya minority since June when its refugee and development agencies signed a deal with the government.

Its work is highly sensitive inside Rakhine, a state cut deep with ethnic and religious hatred and where Buddhist locals stand accused of helping the army chase out their Muslim neighbours.

Many Rakhine accuse international aid groups, including the UN, of a pro-Rohingya bias and foreign aid groups have been granted very limited access to the state.

The task is complicated further as the UN's rights arm is expected to heavily censure Myanmar again in the coming days when it publishes in full the findings of its investigation into atrocities against the Rohingya.

On Friday, specialists from the UNHCR and UNDP agencies were finally given permission to enter northern Rakhine before work began on Wednesday to assess local conditions.

BDST: 2110 HRS, SEP 12, 2018

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