Trócaire has joined together with 18 other international and local Myanmar organisations, calling for urgent action in northern Myanmar to save lives and meet humanitarian needs.
A young boy overlooks Je Yang IDP camp in Kachin State, Myanmar. This photograph was taken as part of the ‘Let My Voice be Heard’ project which involved young people who were forced to flee their homes due to conflict in Kachin State, and are now living in displacement camps. This project is part of the Durable Peace Programme funded by the European Union. (Photo: Seng Di Awng)
We are calling for an end to violence against civilians in Kachin and northern Shan State in Myanmar, and safe passage for civilians caught between the lines of fire. Repeated requests for safe passage and access to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance continue to be denied.
Since the beginning of April 2018 we have seen an escalation in the decades-old Kachin State conflict which is one of the longest running conflicts in the world. This has included the use of airstrikes, heavy weapons and shelling near civilian areas.
Armed conflict near internal displacement camps and civilian compounds have resulted in civilians being killed and injured. Many civilians are still trapped in active conflict zones. Under international humanitarian law, warring parties must make a distinction between civilians and military targets.
More than 5,000 people have fled the renewed fighting in April alone. These civilians are also worried about being forced to return to their villages without any guarantee of safety and security. Returns must only happen voluntarily and when safety is guaranteed by all parties to the conflict.
In total, over 100,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Kachin and northern Shan State since 2011. These displaced people have lived in camps for almost seven years, still hoping for peace.
Trócaire and its partners are providing humanitarian assistance in the form of cash, food, shelter, water and protection services. We also work towards strengthening people’s resilience, so that people have opportunities to provide for themselves.
What Trócaire is calling for:
Immediately stop hostilities in civilian areas and guarantee civilians safe passage from conflict zones.
Remove restrictions on civilians to access humanitarian assistance and remove restrictions on humanitarian organisations to provide humanitarian goods and services.
All parties to the conflict to abide by and fulfil all obligations under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, bringing an immediate end to violations of human rights and insecurity for civilians.
Redouble efforts and commitment to a durable and equitable political solution rather than armed conflict.