News / Asia

Burma Grants UN Access to Kachin Territory

A boy shows small fish in a bottle he caught in a paddy field at Je Yang IDP camp, where 8,000 people have been living after they fled from their villages since June 2011, near the town of Laiza, in Kachin-controled region, February 1, 2013.
A boy shows small fish in a bottle he caught in a paddy field at Je Yang IDP camp, where 8,000 people have been living after they fled from their villages since June 2011, near the town of Laiza, in Kachin-controled region, February 1, 2013.
Daniel Schearf
— Burma has agreed to allow the United Nations to deliver humanitarian aid to displaced villagers in rebel-held territory in north Kachin state. The agreement comes two days after progress was reported in peace talks mediated by China, aimed at ending weeks of heavy fighting. 

The United Nations office in Rangoon confirmed Wednesday they will soon be able to resume deliveries of aid to Burma's Kachin state, including rebel-controlled areas.

Burma's military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have sporadically clashed since a 17-year ceasefire broke down in 2011. The fighting has displaced more than 80,000 villagers, many of whom are living in makeshift camps and churches and depending on hand-outs.

Kachin region of BurmaKachin region of Burma
x
Kachin region of Burma
Kachin region of Burma
Burmese authorities allowed humanitarian aid to government-controlled areas, but had put limits on supplies to KIA areas.  The last U.N. delivery was in July.

Details to be worked out

U.N. spokesman The United Nations office in Rangoon, Aye Win, says they are still working on the details and logistics, but hope to soon have a delivery date for food and non-food aid.

"These people have not had large-scale assistance for a long time and they are certainly in dire need of it.  So, we hope to be able to go in as soon as possible as soon as all the details have been worked out," said Aye Win.

A Burma government spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the agreement for aid to Kachin or any possible timetable. 

But, in an earlier interview with VOA, Burma presidential spokesman Ye Htut said the government's reluctance to allow the aid was out of concern for aid worker safety and that supplies could end up in rebel hands.

Renewed fighting complicates relief

Fighting escalated between Burma's military and the KIA in December, with air strikes against rebel posts around Laiza, their headquarters on the border with China.

China expressed concern about the fighting after shelling and protests spilled across the border.  Beijing has taken a more open role in hosting peace talks that on Monday resulted in some progress.

Min Zaw Oo with the Myanmar Peace Center attended the negotiations in Ruili, just inside the Chinese border.

"The result is that both sides agree to de-escalate the military tension, especially in the area to stop the fighting from both parties.  And, both parties also agree to hold another talk to discuss the detailed arrangement to strengthen the cease-fire from both parties and also to step up to another stage of political dialogue to settle the ethnic conflict," said Min Zaw Oo.

Talks to resume

Burma authorities and the KIA agreed the next round of talks would occur before the end of the month, after consultations with a Burma ethnic alliance, the United Nationalities Federal Council.

The agreement to allow aid into Kachin state comes just days before the U.N. special envoy on human rights is to visit Burma.

Tomas Ojea Quintana will visit Kachin state to assess the impact from the fighting. 

He will also visit Burma's western Rakhine state, where communal fighting between Buddhists and Muslims last year left nearly 200 people dead and 100,000 displaced.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: john from: hawaii
February 06, 2013 1:23 PM
It's to bad our dear leader obama, could not take the lead in negotiations. America should help bring peace to the people of Burma. Instead other dictators are involved.

In Response

by: kian from: indiana
February 07, 2013 3:38 AM
Obama don't care about loyal Kachin people, Kachin are alongside with Alliances , British and American in WW2 , fighting to Japan. now, we can check, who are betraying...?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid