Conflicts & War

Some 100,000 people displaced by east Myanmar fighting: UN

Bangkok, Jun 9 (EFE).- Recent clashes between the Myanmar military and rebel groups have displaced some 100,000 people from their homes in the eastern Karenni (Kayah) state, the United Nations in Myanmar said.

The UN expressed concern “about the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Kayah State and other areas in southeastern Myanmar” as a result of the clashes that began in April between the security forces and the rebels of the Karenni Army together with groups of armed civilians.

“People fleeing and those remaining in locations affected by ongoing hostilities are in urgent need of food, water, shelter, fuel and access to healthcare,” the UN in Myanmar said in a statement on Tuesday night.

It added that the agency and its partners were being unable to distribute humanitarian supplies at the affected areas due “ongoing insecurity, travel restrictions imposed by security forces, and poor road conditions.”

Many of the displaced have fled to forests or sought refuge in communities in the neighboring Shan state, according to the UN, which noted that “this crisis could push people across international borders seeking safety, as already seen in other parts of the country.”

The agency also denounced “indiscriminate attacks by security forces against civilian areas” and called on “all parties to urgently take the necessary measures and precautions to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, particularly protected objects such as medical units and personnel.”

The rebels accuse the military of firing heavy artillery and mortar shells at various villages.

In addition to Karenni state, clashes between the armed forces and ethnic guerrillas – who demand greater autonomy for their regions – have intensified in several areas of the country since the military coup on Feb. 1.

At least 857 people have been killed as a result of a brutal crackdown by security forces against peaceful anti-coup protests, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

The military, headed by General Min Aung Hlaing, has justified the coup alleging fraud in elections held in November, in which ousted leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi’s party repeated its resounding victory of 2015, with international observers giving a clean chit to the polls. EFE


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