On a humanitarian tour of Southeast Asia, special envoy for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Angelina Jolie Pitt is giving a voice to the people of Myanmar (formerly Burma). The actress met with Rohingya community representatives in Yangon on Friday, who spoke with her about the difficult conditions of life in Rakhine State.
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group who have suffered waves of ethnic violence and oppression. In 2012, two outbreaks of conflict left almost 200 dead and about 140,000 displaced, according to the Myanmar Times. Many still remain in camps for internally displaced persons.
“The situation for the displaced inside this country is extremely serious,” Jolie Pitt said. “One man I met expressed his concerns by saying he was afraid that in years to come his community would be found only in history books – and that the lack of medicine and healthcare is a top priority,” she adds.
Jolie Pitt, who’s been following the situation since her first visit to Myanmar refugees in Thailand in 2002, is offering to help the government bring medical assistance to people in the Rakhine and Kachin States.
She also met with first-time female voters in Myanmar, during a trip to the “She Leads” program in Yangon. The women showed her how they check online if they and their family members are registered to vote, ahead of crucial elections in November 2015.