Yangon – We are deeply concerned by mob violence in Sittwe over the past day targeting international NGOs that has resulted in the destruction of property and the emergency relocation of international aid workers, including at least three Americans, to safe havens.
Despite some efforts by local authorities to ensure the security of humanitarian workers, we remain deeply concerned about the continued lack of adequate security forces and rule of law on the ground in Sittwe, and Rakhine State more broadly, to prevent the outbreak and spread of violence and to protect aid workers, their offices, and other vulnerable populations in the area. Unhindered and regular humanitarian access to communities in need, and the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers to ensure the effective delivery of these services, are core international principles.
We continue to encourage the Union Government to work toward a durable solution that addresses the underlying causes of conflict in Rakhine State to create the conditions for sustainable peace and development. The United States stands ready to assist in these efforts.