Curfew relaxed in northern Arakan State

Curfew relaxed in northern Arakan State

Authorities in Maungdaw district have eased a curfew in place since 9 October attacks in northern Arakan State put the region on lockdown as security forces combed towns and villages in search of the perpetrators.

District administrators announced that the previous curfew, keeping civilians off the streets from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., had been relaxed as of Friday and is now in effect from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar quoted Maungdaw Township administrator Myint Khaing as saying the reduced curfew hours were due to “the improving peace and stability in the region.”

“The people are urged to effectively use the limited time and cooperate for the security of people’s lives,” he told the daily.

The curfew order also bans public gatherings of more than five people.

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The deadly 9 October attacks, carried out by Rohingya militants, prompted a fierce crackdown in northern Arakan State. Tens of thousands of the Muslim minority have since fled to Bangladesh as reports of grave human rights violations, allegedly committed by security forces, have proliferated.

The military denies the allegations and on Thursday formed an investigative team to probe a report released last week by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which accused soldiers of a systematic campaign of rape, murder and arson in the months since 9 October.

In addition to nearly 70,000 new Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the UN estimates that more than 20,000 remain internally displaced within northern Arakan State.

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