The United Nations has issued a directive to its staff restricting travel to Burma during the election period, citing possible disruptions. The Democratic Voice of Burma has received a copy of a letter circulated by the New York-based UN Department of Safety and Security dated Sept 22, 2015. It states: “Myanmar [Burma] will hold general elections on 8 November 2015 with an official campaign running from 8 September till 6 November 2015. There are high expectations in the country that the elections will be carried out peacefully; however electoral-related disruptions are expected around the Polling Day until the final results are announced on 22 November 2015. The Designated Official, in consultation with the Security Management Team, has recommended that temporary travel restrictions should be in place for non-critical, external visits to Myanmar between 6- 24 November 2015.
“I concur with the above recommendations. I further request all organisations of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) to support the implementation of the above measures.”
The letter is signed by Peter Thomas Drennan, the UN under-secretary-general for safety and security.
The UN has yet to respond to DVB requests to elaborate on the specific type of disruptions the agency anticipates, and to identify any particular regions of concern. However, UN information officer in Yangon Aye Win said, “Disruptions to elections are a possibility in any country undergoing a political transition. It is the obligation of the UN to undertake contingency planning to ensure the safety and security of its staff. These precautions do not imply any prediction into possible scenarios regarding the elections.”