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UNICEF has expressed their concerns of continued and intensified fighting in Rakhine State, Burma. A statement was issued after four children were killed on 6th January and five injured when an explosive device went off whilst they collected firewood from a forest near Htike Htoo Paul village in Buthidaung township, Rakhine State.
In 2019 alone, as a result of landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs), 16 children were killed and 36 more severely injured in conflict areas. In their statement, UNICEF spoke about their deep concern of the continuation of these killings and injuries of children as a result of the fighting between the Burmese Army and Arakan Army/United League of Arakan which reportedly intensified at the end of December.
UNICEF has urged all the parties involved in the ongoing conflict to ‘stop laying mines and to clear existing mines and unexploded ordinances to ensure the safety of children caught up in conflict, and to uphold their human right to protection’ and for the ‘Government to facilitate access for the provision of emergency Mine Risk Education activities so children, teachers and other community members receive psychosocial support and mine risk education in schools and communities in all conflict-affected areas of Myanmar.’