Renewed fighting in Myanmar has displaced 26,000 people since Monday, UN says

Renewed fighting between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Arakan Army (AA) has displaced more than 26,000 people in the country’s western Rakhine state since Monday, according to the United Nations.

In a statement Friday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said the latest figures bring the total number of internally displaced people due to conflict between the two sides to approximately 90,000.

Eleven deaths and more than 30 injuries have been reported since an informal ceasefire agreed a year ago broke on November 13, the statement read.

More than 100 people have reportedly been detained by the MAF and five by the AA, it added.

Battles between the military and resistance groups have unfolded almost daily across Myanmar since army general Min Aung Hlaing seized power in February 2021, plunging the country into economic chaos and fresh civil war.

The most recent fighting began when the AA reportedly attacked two border posts near the Maungdaw township, which is near the border with Bangladesh.

The two parties had previously established an informal ceasefire in November 2022, according to the UN body.

It added that there have been reports of MAF shelling in AA-controlled areas and that the military had conducted at least one operation backed by air and naval support.

Most humanitarian activities have been suspended due to the fighting and “virtually all roads and waterways” between Rakhine townships have been blocked, the statement read.

Airstrikes and ground attacks on what the MAF calls “terrorist” targets have occurred regularly since 2021 and killed thousands of civilians, including children, according to monitoring groups.

Whole villages have been burned down by junta soldiers and schools, clinics and hospitals destroyed in the attacks.

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