Concern for Growing Violence in Rakhine and Chin States, Burma

Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson

The United States is deeply troubled by escalating violence in northern Rakhine State and Chin State, where dozens have been killed and thousands have been displaced in recent months. We express our deepest sympathies for all those affected by the violence, including the hundreds of families whose homes were recently destroyed. We call on all parties to cease fighting, take necessary precautions to protect local communities, and pursue peaceful dialogue.

For decades, the United States has partnered with those in Burma in support of their democratic aspirations and their pursuit of peace and prosperity. Since 2012, we have funded large-scale efforts at decreasing violence, promoting human rights, and finding peace for all in Rakhine State. After the onset of the Rakhine State crisis in 2017, the people of the United States have given more than $820 million to ease humanitarian suffering of all affected by the crisis and find a way to resolve the ongoing emergency.

The current situation is exacerbated by ongoing restrictions on humanitarian and media access, and the prolonged internet blackout, which cut communities off from lifesaving assistance and vital information. Access to humanitarian assistance and information are all the more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. We call on the Government of Burma to allow unhindered humanitarian access and to restore internet access. We also call on others to provide additional assistance and avoid actions that would further destabilize the region.