Naypyidaw, Myanmar (BBN) – Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in Rakhine on her first visit to the violence-torn state.
Government officials say she is visiting the regional capital Sittwe and other towns during a one-day unannounced trip, reports BBC.
She has been criticised around the world for not stopping a military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, amid allegations of ethnic cleansing.
More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August.
The unrest in troubled Rakhine was sparked by deadly attacks on police stations across the state, blamed on a newly emerged militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa).
Scores of people were killed in the ensuing military crackdown, and there are widespread allegations of villages being burned and Rohingya being driven out.
Myanmar’s military says its operations are aimed at rooting out militants, and has repeatedly denied targeting civilians. Witnesses, refugees and journalists have contested this.
On Thursday, government spokesman Zaw Htay told the AFP that Ms Suu Kyi was “now in Sittwe and will go to Maungdaw and Buthiduang too”.
“It will be a day trip,” he added.
It was not immediately clear whether Ms Suu Kyi would also visit any of Rohingya villages.
In a major speech in September, she condemned rights abuses but did not blame the army or address allegations of ethnic cleansing.