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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid