Urgent Requests: Concerns and Requests Related to the Humanitarian Situation in Kachin and Northern Shan States, Myanmar
The armed conflict between the Government of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) has displaced over 120,000 civilians to 167 camps across Kachin and Northern Shan States. As of August 2016, multiple peace process negotiations are yet to bring any concrete results for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return home safely. From the onset of the humanitarian crisis, nine local humanitarian organisations1 formed a Joint Strategy Team (JST)2 for Humanitarian Response in Kachin and Northern Shan States.
Regardless of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference, the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) continues its military offensives and violations of Human Rights. Continuous fighting, use of airstrikes and heavy artillery have increased civilian casualties and intensified fear and anxiety for IDPs. Recently, fighting has been taken place across Kachin State and northern Shan State. In 01 October 2016, due to Tatmadaw’s heavy artillery fired, one year and nine months old child were killed and 2 more children were badly injured in Pu Wan village, Mongku township in Northern Shan state. With this development, IDP families and civilians are extremely anxious and terrified.
Myanmar government and Tatmadaw have stop food transportation to KIO control area as well as in Northern Shan state in their own control area. Government issued a letter that agencies need to get prior permission from state government for any food distribution in IDPs camps. Currently, food shortage occurs badly in Man Win Gyi IDPs camps, Northern Shan State and KIO control area. Humanitarian access is unfortunately politicized consistently by the Myanmar government, has been controlled and limited. Myanmar Tatmadaw consistently hinders food transportation to the most needed area in Kachin state. This is an outright violation against the right of the IDPs and breaching of the IHL.
In September 2016, Myanmar Armed Forces with fully armed soldiers entered to the IDPs camps and carried out family registration check and toke the family photo in Northern Shan and Kachin States. With these incidents, which suppose a violation of IDPs rights, IDP families are constantly intimidated and they are extremely anxious and terrified with these intrusions.
- Joint Strategy Team – Bridging Rural Integrated Development and Grassroot Empowerment (BRIDGE), Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Kachin Relief and Development Committee (KRDC), Kachin Women Association (KWA), Kachin Development Group (KDG), Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS), Metta Development Foundation (Metta), Nyein (Shalom) Foundation and Wunpawng Ninghtoi (WPN).
- JST is a group of committed, professional Humanitarian local NGOs providing comprehensive, strategic, principled humanitarian assistance to people affected by armed conflict in Kachin and Northern Shan JST has a long trajectory in strategizing and delivering principled humanitarian assistance in complex contexts and it is highly knowledgeable and exposed to the International Humanitarian System.
After five years of displacement, ensuring human dignity for IDPs and meeting their basic needs, like food and shelter, is a constant struggle; protection of the most vulnerable groups remains a great challenge.
Under such circumstances, which threatens IDPs’ lives and security and hampers the peace process, the Joint Strategy Team would like to deliver the following urgent requests to all stakeholders:
- We urge for an immediate cessation of hostilities: all parties implement a complete and immediate cessation of any military action and hostilities, fully respect civilian protection and abide to International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law.
- JST urge Myanmar government and Tatmadaw to take full responsibility and accountability for its own people-‐ the IDPs, and to strictly observe IHL and to ensures unlimited humanitarian access as they have signed on under
- That UN agencies and international communities mobilizes all their resources: diplomatic, financial and logistics to ensure that food and other essential humanitarian assistance is delivered with no delay to those in need, directly and through reputed Local Humanitarian
Joint Strategy Team: 14 October 2016
Contact: Gum Sha Awng (Mr.) at gum.sha.awng@metta-‐myanmar.org Mobile: +95 95192913
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