We undersigned call on United Nations Security Council members to take all necessary steps to ensure the immediate and unconditional access of Aid Agencies in order to resume their humanitarian response in Rakhine and Chin States.
We echo our support to the statement of U.N. Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar dated on September 8, 2020 that expressed concern of continued civilian casualties and called on the Myanmar government to allow humanitarian access to the affected areas despite of the challenge faced over the recent surge of locally transmission of COVID-19 in Rakhine State.
We reiterate our support to the UNICEF’s statement on the Myanmar dated on September 10, 2020 and the calls on the Myanmar military and Arakan Army to ‘protect children and all time keep them out of harm’s way,’ following the incident on September 8 in Nyaung Ken village, Myebon township, where two children were killed and injured another child from the motor shell fire.
We welcome the statement of eight members of U.N Security Council on September 11, 2020, in which the members called on the Myanmar ‘for safe, full, and unhindered humanitarian access to all vulnerable populations and the full restoration of internet access in the affected areas.’
We support the U.N. Human Rights Council Forty-fifth session and the annual report dated on September 14, 2020 that called on the Government of Myanmar to “Immediate extend the ceasefire throughout the country and end violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including all restrictions on humanitarian access.”
We welcome the statement from Embassy of Canada in Myanmar dated on September 21, 2020 that expressed concern at the increase of civilian casualties and displacements invoked by ongoing conflict between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military in Rakhine and Chin States, and the calls for full humanitarian access to for those affected.
We welcome the statement of U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, dated on September 22, 2020 and under the title of “Mounting child death toll during Rakhine village assaults must end” and the calls on the Myanmar to end targeting civilians.
All the above statements are giving us hope over 200,000 international displaced persons (IDPs) have heavily relied on the humanitarian assistances provided by the U.N. agencies such as the World Food Programme, INGOs, and the local donors for many months. We thank you for all the help and support to the internally displaced in Rakhine and Chin States.
However, the current restriction on the U.N. agencies and INGOs operating in Rakhine State, limits their ability to react rapidly to assistances to newly displaced as in the case of Kyauktaw and Rathedaung where approximately 20,000 villagers have fled fighting and direct attacks recently.
A large IDPs living in 153 makeshift camps such as monasteries, and relative’s houses are currently facing shortage of essentials such as foods, medicines, blankets, mosquito nets, clothing, and other personal hygiene products due the statewide travel bans and stay-at-home requirements imposed by the state government and the blanket ban on U.N. agencies and INGOs access to deliver humanitarian aid since August 23.
Therefore, we urge the members of U.N Security Council to take necessary steps to ensure that the Myanmar government immediately lift unnecessary restrictions and gives all aid agencies in Rakhine and Chin States access to all IDPs.
Ko Maung Maung (Canada)
Tel: +1 (778) 868 7490
U Khine Kaung San (Sittway-Rakhine State)
Tel: +95 945 054 2895
Ko Zaw Zaw Tun (Sittway-Rakhine State)
Tel: +95 942 174 1255
International Campaign for Arakan (USA)
International Campaign for Arakan (Norway)
Arakan American Community (USA)
Arakan Information Center (Malaysia)
Arakan-Indian Community (India)
Arakan-Canadian Community (Canada)
Arakan-British Community (England)
Arakan National Union (Japan)
Arakan-Australian Community (Australia)
Arakan Community (Sweden)
Arakan-Bangladesh Community (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh Rakhaing Students’ Council (Bangladesh)
Laywadday IDP Relief Organization (Malaysia)
Wan Lark Development Foundation (Rakhine State)
Arakan Human Rights Defender and Promoter Association (Rakhine State)
Progressive Voice is a participatory rights-based policy research and advocacy organization rooted in civil society, that maintains strong networks and relationships with grassroots organizations and community-based organizations throughout Myanmar. It acts as a bridge to the international community and international policymakers by amplifying voices from the ground, and advocating for a rights-based policy narrative.