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2014-06-10

ASIA/MYANMAR - Three years of war and abuse on ethnic minorities: appeal for peace by civil society

Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - The end of the war with the Kachin minority, stop to violence and abuse of human rights, the start of a serious negotiating table: is what a forum of more than 55 Burmese and international organizations, including the "Christian Solidarity International" call for, three years after the resumption of the military offensive launched by the Burmese government against the Kachin ethnic minorities in the north of the country.
In June, three years ago, the Burmese army violated the ceasefire of 17 years with the "Kachin Independence Army" (KIA) and unleashed a broad military offensive against the Kachin people. Since 9 June 2011, more than 120,000 Kachins have been forced to flee their homes and at least 200 villages have been destroyed, with the unfolding of a humanitarian emergency.
In recent months there have been a number of peace talk sessions. However, the Burmese army continued the offensive. The military, say the associations in a document sent to Fides, "have committed human rights violations with impunity. Among the most heinous abuses, there are credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which deserve immediate investigation: deliberate attack against civilians by military forces, rapes and other forms of sexual violence, summary executions, arbitrary detentions, torture and restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian assistance".
On the third anniversary of the offensive, the signatory organizations call on the government of Burma to immediately cease its attacks in the Kachin state, and to fully comply with international laws on human and humanitarian rights. "We call for the urgent protection of displaced persons, and unhindered humanitarian access, with the support of the international community". It also calls on the Burmese government to "provide full compensation to all the displaced due to the conflict, in order to enable them to rebuild their homes, businesses, schools, clinics, farms". Finally, "given the refusal of the Government of Burma to investigate and to take action to end the violence, the international community should establish an independent investigation into human rights abuses against the Kachin". The associations are asking all protagonists to make every effort to ensure that ethnic minorities "live in true freedom and lasting peace". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/06/2014)

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