Statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai, June Kunugi,  on the situation in northern Shan State.

Yangon, 4 September 2019 – I am gravely concerned by the recent sharp escalation of conflict in northern Shan State, where, since mid-August, a reported 17 civilians have been killed and 27 more injured, many of them women and children.  Road travel in the area is now unsafe and infrastructure has been damaged, and many people remain trapped in their villages, afraid to leave as the conflict intensifies around them.

On 31 August, five civilians were killed by mortar fire that landed in their village in Kutkai Township. Three of the dead were children. The armed conflict continues to exact a heavy toll, and I express my sincere condolences to families that have lost loved ones in this incident.

I urge all parties to the conflict to exercise maximum restraint to protect the civilian population from further harm and distress. Civilians must be protected and parties to the conflict must allow humanitarian organizations to access populations in need with food, water and other essential supplies and services.

This violence takes place amid a fragile, repeatedly-violated ceasefire. In welcoming the latest extension to the unilateral ceasefire by the Myanmar Military until 21 September, the United Nations hopes that this will effectively bring a halt to fighting. The United Nations encourages all parties to re-double their efforts to advance the Peace Process and offers its full support to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. ENDS

 

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U Aye Win,

National Information Officer,

United Nations Information Centre,

Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai,

Email – wina@un.org

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