Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has underlined the UK's concerns about the escalation of violence in Kachin State, Burma.
Talking to MP’s in Parliament today Alistair Burt said:
The British Government is deeply concerned by reports emerging from Kachin State of an escalation in hostilities, including the use of Burmese military helicopters and aircraft against Kachin Independence Army positions in areas around the state capital and Laiza. These tactics represent a marked escalation, and pose a significant risk of civilian casualties
The British Government has been encouraged by the reforms made by the Burmese Government of President Thein Sein over the last 18 months but has also been clear that progress on ethnic reconciliation must remain the highest priority. The situation in Kachin is increasingly serious and could present a threat to these wider reforms.
The British Government calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities. There must be unhindered humanitarian access to conflict affected areas, and we call for all sides to return to the negotiating table and make renewed efforts towards a lasting peace.
Read about Hugo Swire’s recent visit to Burma where he raised UK concerns with Burmese Ministers.