Conflict and Displacement:
From January to June 2019, there were 156 documented armed clashes—a 64% increase in the number of incidents recorded over the previous six-month reporting period. The majority of these clashes occurred in Rakhine (and Chin) State between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Burma Army, totalling 98 documented clashes and averaging 16 clashes per month. In the north and northeast of the country, despite the Burma Army’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire, 37 clashes were documented between the Burma Army and Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) in Kachin and northern Shan states. In addition, 11 clashes were documented amongst EAOs in the region, including between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army-South (RCSS) and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP) and the RCSS and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
The ongoing armed conflict in the country resulted in the estimated displacement of more than 27,000 civilians during the first six months of 2019.2 According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 10,500 individuals were displaced in northern Shan State alone between January and the beginning of April. As of the end of June, there is an estimated 106,647 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 169 IDP sites in Kachin and northern Shan states. In addition, there are an estimated 5,600 persons in Karen State and 129,000 persons in Rakhine State who remain internally displaced due to the armed conflict.
In March, Bangladesh announced its controversial plan to start relocating thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal beginning in April. The island is considered prone to flooding during extreme weather events, and some have warned this could create a “new crisis” for the Rohingya.
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