By Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council
Background: An airstrike struck a displacement camp sheltering hundreds of people in Myanmar’s Kayah State yesterday reportedly killing at least three people, including two children. Fighting has intensified in southeastern Kayah and Kayin states since December. Some 162,000 people, including women and children, remain displaced in the two states after fleeing their homes since May 2021. More than 650 houses, monasteries, churches and schools have reportedly been burnt or destroyed in Kayah State alone.
“We are deeply worried about the new wave of violence and fighting targeting civilians in southeast Myanmar. We condemn yesterday’s airstrike which affected hundreds of people. These were communities that had already been forced to flee their homes because of violence, and sheltered at the displacement site in search of protection and safety. This indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians must end.
“The fighting is causing death, more displacement and disrupting access to critical services and humanitarian aid. The de facto authorities are responsible under International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians, and we call on them to do their duty.”
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