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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid