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UN teams given first access to Myanmar’s Rakhine state

Published : Thursday, 13 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 203

YANGON, Sept 12: The UN began work Wednesday inside Myanmar's violence-torn northern Rakhine state, the first time its agencies have been granted permission to operate there since more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the area last year.
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.
"The team is on the ground and commenced with the first assessments today," UNHCR spokeswoman Aoife McDonnell said.    -AFP






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