DELEGATES FROM EMBASSIES, INT’L ORGANIZATIONS, MEDIA VISIT MYANMAR’S RAKHINE STATE

SITTWE, Rakhine State, Myanmar– Around 50 delegates from embassies, international organizations and media organizations in Myanmar paid a government-organized visit to northern Rakhine state on Monday.

The delegates arrived at Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State early in the morning, before being divided into three groups and took helicopters to visit several villages and Maungtaw District Administrative Department respectively.

The tour was guided by three ministers from the Ministry of Health and Sports, Ministry of Construction and Ministry of Border Affairs.

Local villagers, village administrators, police officials and district governors briefed the delegates on the situation since August when terrorist attacks broke out.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army extremist terrorists launched attacks on police outposts in Rakhine on Aug. 25, displacing residents from a number of areas in Maungtaw district to border areas with Bangladesh.

In Khon Tine village, delegates met the survivors of the attack. The villagers said the whole village was burnt down by terrorists.

According to the villagers, they were attacked at noon on Aug. 28, with six villagers killed and four injured, while other villagers fled away.

The injured showed their scars to the delegates. On the ground there was only burnt wood left.

Throughout the trip, the villagers told the delegates that various ethnic communities all suffered from the attacks. The local officials said the government is distributing humanitarian aid to them.

In Maungtaw District Administrative Department, delegates were shown the pictures of the victims, most of whom were ethnic minority groups in Rakhine.

“The UN appreciates the Government of Myanmar’s invitation to participate in the visit to northern Rakhine organized by national authorities for diplomatic community and the UN,” said a statement issued by the UN Office of Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator following the visit.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Renata Lok-Dessallien, also participated in the field trip.

The statement said this was a positive step and such visits under appropriate conditions could help in the efforts to explore potential areas where the UN could cooperate with the Myanmar authorities in alleviating the situation in northern Rakhine.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK