UNHCR urges Myanmar to protect civilians in northern Rakhine state

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of civilians in the northern part of Rakhine state, Myanmar. We are urging the government of Myanmar to ensure the protection and dignity of all civilians on its territory in accordance with the rule of law and its international obligations.

We appeal for calm and for humanitarian access to assess and meet the needs of thousands of people who have reportedly been displaced from their homes by the ongoing security operation. The affected population is believed to be in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care.

UNHCR urges the government of Myanmar to immediately allow humanitarian actors to resume the life-saving activities they had been carrying out for some 160,000 civilians in northern Rakhine State until such activities were suspended on 9 October.

We are also appealing to the government of Bangladesh to keep its border with Myanmar open and allow safe passage to any civilians from Myanmar fleeing violence.


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