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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.