UN warns aid workers of rising Buddhist hostility in western Myanmar


YANGON: The UN has warned aid workers in western Myanmar of rising hostility and imminent protests from troubled Rakhine state’s majority Buddhists, some of whom say humanitarian agencies are giving support to Rohingya Muslim militants.
Reuters has obtained the text of a “precautionary security notification” distributed to the 300 or so UN staff and to international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in Rakhine on Wednesday.
It notes the “increased likelihood of civil unrest” and the possibility of demonstrations at aid agency offices in the state already racked by violence.
The Office of the UN’s resident coordinator in Myanmar confirmed it had issued the notification as part of routine safety and security practice.
The perception that UN agencies were supporting militants, and even their support to the broader Muslim community, the note said, “fueled renewed social media rhetoric and incidents of expressed hostility by some more hard-line elements.”