News

    Burma Allows Second UN Aid Shipment to Kachin Rebel Areas

    Ethnic Kachin people sit in the doorways of shelters at a temporary camp for people displaced by fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army, or KIA, outside the city of Myitkyina in the north of the country, February 22, 2012.
    Ethnic Kachin people sit in the doorways of shelters at a temporary camp for people displaced by fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army, or KIA, outside the city of Myitkyina in the north of the country, February 22, 2012.
    Daniel Schearf

    Burma’s government has allowed the United Nations to ship a second round of humanitarian aid to rebel-controlled areas in northern Kachin state. But, the U.N. says the aid is far from adequate for the tens of thousands displaced by fighting between Burma’s army and ethnic Kachin rebels. 

    The United Nations was allowed to send a second convoy of humanitarian aid Monday morning for rebel-held areas of Burma’s Kachin state.

    The trucks carried temporary shelters and enough food and medicine to last 2,200 people about a month.

    An earlier U.N. aid convoy left Saturday with enough supplies for 1,100 people.  

    It is only the second time Burma’s government has allowed international aid to enter areas controlled by the Kachin Independence Organization and follows growing international pressure.  

    Aye Win, a U.N. spokesman in Rangoon, says the aid is not enough. He says there are at least 50,000 people displaced and in need of sustained help. 

    “We’d certainly like the circumstances to be more permissible for further aid delivery," said Aye Win. "And, again, you see, the situation up there, you know, has to be taken into account.  And, once we’re able to send another convoy we’ll certainly do so.”

    As many as 75,000 villagers fled ongoing fighting between Burma’s army and Kachin rebels that broke out in June, ending a 17-year cease-fire.

    Displaced villagers crowd into churches and makeshift refugee camps along the border with China.

    Authorities have allowed international aid to flow to government-controlled areas but previously only allowed one shipment in December to rebel territory.

    Rights groups condemn the blocking of aid as a violation of international humanitarian law.

    The KIO also refused some aid that was offered by the government, apparently concerned that accepting it could be used for propaganda purposes.

    This month, Human Rights Watch released a report saying despite Burma’s recent political reforms, which have won widespread international praise, there has been no significant reduction in abuses committed by the country’s military.

    The report on the conflict in Kachin included numerous accounts of torture, rape and deliberate attacks on civilians.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora