Fighting in Rakhine, Chin states rages as Myanmar limits internet

Continued fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army armed group has left several people dead in recent days as the government continues a clampdown on the western region.

Activists and journalists have decried the internet blackout the government has imposed as part of the clampdown as a violation of human rights.

Reports on Tuesday said at least 11 civilians, including five Muslim Rohingya, had been killed after being caught in the hostilities in Rakhine, a western state that is home to more than three million people.

In a statement, four United Nations human rights experts also said “credible reports” showed that more than 1,000 people had been displaced in the 10 days up to February 18. The Myanmar Times also quoted the Rakhine Ethnic Congress as saying that more than 120,000 have evacuated beginning in November 2018.

Since 2019, government forces have been embroiled in a new conflict with the Arakan Army, an armed rebel group that wants more autonomy for the ethnic Rakhine people.

In 2017, a conflict between the military – also known as the Tatmadaw – and another rebel group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, led to the exodus of at least 740,000 Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh, drawing allegations of genocide.

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