Yangon, 7 February 2012 – The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Ashok Nigam, welcomes the Secretary-General’s call for a genuine and sustainable peace in Kachin state. The recent negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) on the conflict in Kachin state is a positive step to enable the UN and its humanitarian partners to respond to the dire needs of the displaced persons who had been suffering since the outbreak of conflict over one and half years ago. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners have not had humanitarian access to non-government controlled areas since July 2012.
Mr. Nigam also welcomes the request by both the Government and KIO for humanitarian assistance as well as the statement in today’s New Light of Myanmar “to let enter humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons”.
“Ongoing discussions as to the details on security and logistics must be expedited. Moreover, all parties in the conflict must commit to safe passage of humanitarian workers for the assistance and ensure that sustained humanitarian aid can be delivered to all areas in Kachin state,” he said.
Since June 2011, fighting across Kachin and northern Shan states has forced thousands of people from their homes. It is estimated that over 80,000 people had been displaced since the beginning of the conflict and many more impacted in one way or the other. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are committed to delivering assistance to all those affected in full respect of the humanitarian principles of independence, humanity, impartiality and neutrality.