Myanmar blocks humanitarian aid to Kachin State

Bangkok-based rights group says Myanmar authorities 'have weaponized denial of humanitarian aid in Kachin State'

Myanmar blocks humanitarian aid to Kachin State

World Bulletin / News Desk

Myanmar authorities have obstructed humanitarian aid to Kachin civilians, according to a report published Thursday by Bangkok-based human rights group Fortify Rights.

In the report titled "They Block Everything", the group revealed how "Myanmar authorities, particularly the Myanmar military have weaponized the denial of humanitarian aid in Kachin State for years". 

Regarding the blocking of humanitarian aid, Fortify Rights Chief Executive Officer Matthew Smith said: "This may amount to a war crime, giving even more reason for the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court." 

The Myanmar military and the Kachin Independent Army (KIA), an armed ethnic group, have engaged in clashes after a 17-year cease-fire broke down in June 2011.

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as fighting between the military and the KIA has escalated in the northern Kachin state since April.

Recalling that there are currently "more than 106,000 ethnic civilians in more than 140 displacement sites in Kachin and Shan states", the 68-page report documents how the Myanmar government imposes "unnecessary travel restrictions on humanitarian aid organizations". 

"The government has willfully imposed restrictions on access to food, healthcare, shelter, water, and sanitation to tens of thousands of Kachin displaced by ongoing war between the Myanmar Army and the KIA," the report said. 

It further called on Myanmar authorities to "immediately provide local and international aid groups with free and unfettered humanitarian access to all internally-displaced persons in need".

The report includes 195 interviews conducted primarily in the Kachin State after the rights group visited more than 20 displacement camps during a five-year period (2013-2018). 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ağustos 2018, 16:45