The United Nations in Myanmar has warned it will withdraw support in Rakhine state to avoid complicity in a government “policy of apartheid” for Rohingya Muslims. A letter seen by the Guardian, sent from UN resident coordinator, Knut Ostby, to the Myanmar government, relayed a decision by the UN and its humanitarian partners to withhold support “beyond life-saving assistance” in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps deemed “closed” by the government, unless fundamental changes occur.
UN agencies have worked continuously in camps for Muslim communities displaced by violence in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state seven years ago. The letter, dated 6 June, said that from now on, UN assistance could only be provided when it was “linked to tangible progress made on the fundamental issue of freedom of movement”. Currently, Ostby said, the policy by the Myanmar government “risks entrenching segregation”.