London, UK — Burma Human Rights Network reiterates its calls on the Burmese Government to allow unhindered and complete access for NGOs in northern Rakhine State. Since the military campaign against the Rohingya began on August 25th, 2017, residents have complained of widespread shortages of food and medical aid in Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Maungdaw Townships. While some aid slowly trickled in during the past year, several areas have reported ongoing shortages or no access to aid at all. With the recent conflict between the Arakan Army and Burmese Security forces, aid has been further pushed out leaving the Rohingya and many ethnic Rakhine in an even worse position.
“The Burmese authorities continue to show there is no limit to their cruelty and callousness by depriving civilians of aid as punishment for conflicts they have no control over. The international community cannot ignore widespread hunger and disease are likely to spread through Rohingya and Rakhine communities who have been with limited aid since 2017,” said BHRN’s executive director, Kyaw Win.
While nearly 800, 000 Rohingya fled the Burmese Military’s genocidal campaign between 2016 and 2017, many stayed behind. BHRN has received regular reports from villagers of food shortages, illness, and widespread suffering. Villagers in Rathedaung have complained to BHRN of not receiving aid for the past 4 months and villagers in remote areas of Buthidaung have said they’ve gone without access to medical care since 2017. NGO access has been limited, and due to the recent conflict has been nearly shut off for the Rohingya. The current conflict between the Burmese military and the ethnic Rakhine Arakan Army is completely unrelated to the Rohingya, but they are suffering severely for it.
The Burmese Government and Military must allow full unimpeded access in Rakhine State for all NGOs operating inside of Burma. The international community must address this issue without compromise, and utilize all diplomatic tools, including the use of targeted sanctions against the Military and its business interests, to do so. While Burma stalls on human rights and seeks to buy time and negotiation leverage the cost to human life continues to increase. The world must act now before new crises emerge.
Background on the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378
View this original press release Here.