Press release

Minister Field's statement on the situation in Kachin state, Burma, 11 May 2018

Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field statement on the humanitarian situation in Kachin State.

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Minister Field said:

I remain deeply concerned about the intense fighting between the Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Army, which has since April led to over 6000 people being newly displaced. This has added to the humanitarian suffering already experienced across the state over several years.

I call on the Burmese military to fulfil its duty to respect international humanitarian law, ensure access for humanitarian organisations and allow the 2000 civilians trapped by the fighting to leave to safe areas. The new Burmese Northern Commander, Major-General Teza Kyaw, must ensure that the soldiers under his command show restraint and protect civilians. The UK will continue to offer substantial humanitarian support: in the last financial year we provided £6.1 million in humanitarian relief to Kachin and northern Shan.

I call on all parties to the conflict to cease fighting, protect civilians, and return fully to peace talks, which the UK supports and which seek to bring to an end 70 years of internal conflict in Burma.

The UK will continue to raise, both with the Burmese authorities and the international community, our anxiety at the continued armed conflicts and the constraints on humanitarian access around the country. The UK restates its commitment to supporting the triple transition in Burma: from military rule to democratic civilian government, from conflict to peace, and from a closed economy to an open one.

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Published 11 May 2018