Seven years ago today, civil war resumed in the Kachin region. Between June 9, 2011 and April 30, 2018, over 3,800 battles were fought between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burma Army, averaging 46 battles per month. This level of intensity has inflicted an unprecedented humanitarian crisis on people of the Kachin region. Over 120,000 people have been displaced and currently reside in Internally Displaced Persons camps.
In the past year, the humanitarian crisis has continued to escalate. In the past year, the Burma Army dropped leaflets over Danai Township, ordering local residents to evacuate. Because the warning was given at very short notice, hundreds of civilians were trapped in the conflict zone when the fighting erupted. In August 2017, clearance operations in the area of Kasung village forced more than 1,000 civilians to abandon their homes. In December 2017, on the night of Christmas Eve, the Burma Army fired artilleries and shells exploded near Woi Chyai IDP camp, resulting in widespread panic and a civilian injury. In February 2018, the Burma Army conducted intense air assaults in Sumprabum, Danai and Mansi areas, leading to more civilian deaths and injuries. In April 2018, conflict escalation once again displaced over 5,500 civilians, with an estimated 2,000 Kachins trapped in the conflict-affected zone and 152 held against their will in Lainawng Hku. There have also been ongoing abductions, deaths, and injuries by landmine explosion, torture and subsequent health problems, and mortar shells exploding on civilians’ houses.
Surely, enough is enough, and it’s time for durable peace and justice. Compounding this humanitarian crisis created and sustained by the Burma Army is the apparent disinterest of the democratically elected NLD government to ensure safety and security of its citizens. When civilians were trapped in the conflict-affected zone this past April, not only did the NLD government stand idly by, but also failed to grant the Kachin community and religious leaders permission to evacuate the trapped civilians to safety.
The Burma Army’s continued offensives in the Kachin region combined with the NLD government’s inaction will only lead to greater civilian devastation. The only solution to end the sufferings of residents of the Kachin region is to stop the civil war.
Hence, we the undersigned urge:
• The international community to pressure the Burma Army to halt military offensives in the Kachin region and begin troop withdrawal from ethnic areas, as well as to provide sufficient humanitarian aid to the IDPs in all territories – including cross-border where necessary.
- The United States, the UK, the EU and their allies to confer with China in arbitrating the Burma Army’s negotiations with ethnic groups for a realistic and enduring solution to end the civil war in Burma.
- The United Nations and Members of the Security Council to set an agenda to evaluate and address the humanitarian crisis and ongoing conflict in northern Burma.
- Members of the UN Security Council to support a resolution referring the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court.
- The NLD government to curtail the ballooning military expenditure.
1) Zau Jat (Burma/Myanmar) +95 944 000 6442 Email:email@example.com
2) Moon Nay Li (Thailand) +66 855 233 791, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Hkanhpa Sadan (UK) +44 794 424 0774, Email:email@example.com
4) Gumsan Nsang (USA) +1 443 415 8683 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Download this statement in English here.
Download this statement in Burmese here.