Kachin women demand Myanmar Human Right Commission hold in-depth investigation into Kachin abuses

Kachin refugee - Photo KNG

The Kachin Women Association Thailand urged the Myanmar Human Right Commission to do a proper comprehensive and in-depth inquiry into the massive amount of people who have been displaced or made refugees by Burma Army offensives in Kachin State.

The government controlled newspaper, the Myanmar Alin, reported on a statement put out by the Myanmar Human Right Commission’s recent trip in July this year to assess the humanitarian situation in Kachin State.

The Burma Army has been fighting against the Kachin Independent Army since June 2010. In that period as many as 70,000 people have been forced from their villages by the Burma Army and thousands of people have taken refugee across the border in China.

Moon Nay Li, Coordinator of the Kachin Women Association Thailand, told Karen News that the humanitarian situation is much worse than the MHRC have reported.

“We want the MHRC to do a more comprehensive inquiry as they are saying the refugees basic needs are as usual. What we see on the ground is that the refugees are still in need of food and healthcare assistance. If a group wants to come and help with the refugees, for example like UN, the government does not allow them to provide assistance to all who are in need. Access is limited to some areas that the government wants them to go to. There are many refugees who are in dire need, but they have not had any aid provided to them.”

The MHRC media statement accused the Kachin Independent Organization of human right violations and conscription of new soldiers that they say is preventing refugees for returning to their homes, as are landmines.

KWAT’s coordinator, Moon Nay Li, said that the MHRC claims do not tell the whole picture.

“It is not just landmines that keep refugees from returning to their homes. Civilians are more afraid of the Burma Army who came to their village and burnt down their houses, beat villagers, arrested villagers and in some cases, murder civilians. Villagers have been abused in many ways – we demand the Human Right Commission to do a more in-depth and comprehensive assessment.”

Moon Nay Li also add that at the Kachin refugee and displacement camps, peoples’ needs are a emergency situation needs urgent assistance.

The Secretary of the Myanmar Human Right Commission and two of its Commissioners visited Myitkyina and Winemaw areas in Kachin State from July 23 to 27 to assess the situation.

According to their statement published in yesterday Myanmar Alin newspaper, the commissioners visited 16 displacement sites to meet with people, talk to witnesses of human right violations that were reported to the commission and held a meeting with the Chief Minister and other government Ministers of Kachin State to share their views.

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