Safety and Security
Over a period of years, Burma has experienced sporadic bombing attacks, primarily targeting government buildings and vehicles. In January 2013, improvised explosive devices (IED) were used in three attacks in Kachin State. In June 2011, bombings targeted a variety of local facilities, including government offices, public restrooms, a public phone booth, markets, and in one instance a train traveling from Mandalay to Rangoon. In April 2010, a series of explosions among a crowd of revelers at a Water Festival celebration in Rangoon killed at least ten people and wounded as many as 170. There is no indication that these attacks targeted U.S. citizens or U.S. interests.
Conflicts between the government and various ethnic minority groups continue in a number of border regions in Burma, and anti-personnel landmines in some border areas pose an additional danger. Occasional fighting between government forces and various rebel groups has occurred in Chin State and Sagaing Division near India and along Burma's Kachin, Shan, Mon, Kayah, and Karen State’s borders with China and Thailand. From time to time, the governments of Burma and Thailand have closed the border between the two nations on short notice. Recent military actions in Kachin State by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burmese Army have endangered the lives of civilians.
Sectarian violence in Rakhine State in June and October 2012 reportedly left many people dead and displaced thousands of others. The violence also resulted in demonstrations in Rangoon and elsewhere.
In light of these incidents, you should exercise caution in public places at all times. Be alert to your surroundings and the presence of unattended packages or bags or suspicious objects/activity in public areas. Furthermore, avoid crowded public places, such as large public gatherings, demonstrations, and any areas cordoned off by security forces; problems can develop quickly. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable. While in Burma, you should closely follow media reports and public information about the security situation in Burma. Given the Government of Burma's restrictions on travel by U.S. diplomats, U.S. Government assistance to U.S. citizens affected by incidents in remote areas of Burma may be difficult.