The UK government has issued a travel advisory, recommending that British citizens avoid traveling to nine regions and states in Myanmar, including northern Rakhine State, where military conflict has erupted in the aftermath of the military coup.
The advisory, which offers travel guidance for British citizens, was issued by The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) on September 18. The nine regions and states include Mon State, Kachin State, Chin State, Kayah State, Karen State, Northern Rakhine State, Sagaing Region, Magway Region, and Northern Tanintharyi Region.
it also urged their citizens to avoid or limit travel to Shan State, Mandalay Region, Southern Tanintharyi Region, Central Rakhine State, and Sittwe District, unless the trip is absolutely necessary or essential.
The statement also mentioned that following the military coup, the security situation in Myanmar is unpredictable and subject to abrupt changes without prior notice.
U Pe Than, a political analyst specializing in Rakhine politics, provided his perspective on the statement that encompasses the travel ban to northern Rakhine State.He commented, "While Northern Rakhine may be relatively stable at the moment, there is a prevailing concern that conflict could erupt unexpectedly. Hence I interpret this as a security precaution."
U Pe Than reiterated to Narinjara that, given the global awareness of the military conflict in Myanmar through media reports, it has become a standard practice for concerned nations to issue travel advisories, primarily done to prioritize the safety of their citizens.
He contrasted the example of foreign countries issuing travel advisories to protect their citizens abroad with Myanmar regime.
"In other countries, they prioritize the protection of their citizens. However, in our country, the government has consistently failed to safeguard its people. When our citizens encounter trouble abroad, they are left without protection, embassies are unable to assist, and even worse, there have been instances of harm to our own citizens. These include artillery attacks, village burnings, and the unjust labeling of people as enemies. To maintain their grip on power, it has become a recurring pattern to subject the populace to torture, threats, and intimidation. These issues have persisted since the military coup. The government in our country does not act as a guardian; it is perceived more as an adversary. A true government, like a caring parent, should prioritize the welfare and protection of its people," he emphasized.
The FCDO also stated that the country is still grappling with persistent issues such as airstrikes, artillery shelling, the looming threat of landmines, and ongoing armed conflicts and violent attacks occurring throughout the nation.
Furthermore, the FCDO has cautioned that these attacks have the potential to affect innocent civilian bystanders, even in areas commonly visited by foreign nationals, such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and serviced accommodation complexes.
On January 16, the UK government's FCDO issued a travel advisory, advising against travel to numerous regions within eight regions and states in Myanmar.