China is Behind Halting of Aid to Kachin IDPs in Myanmar | Persecution

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China is Behind Halting of Aid to Kachin IDPs in Myanmar

09/19/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – With pressure from Beijing, Myanmar’s military and civilian authorities are blocking humanitarian aid from reaching thousands of displaced ethic Kachin in the conflict-torn Kachin State. Currently, living in Kachin are 1.7 million Christians, 116,000 of whom are Catholics.

Beijing is wanting to stabilize its border in the midst of the chaos, but in doing so they are causing thousands of people not to receive food, medicine, shelter, and various other lifesaving materials. Beijing is working alongside Naypyidaw to make life harder on the displaced communities in both Kachin and northern Shan. All of this is in efforts to create a more “conductive business environment” in Kachin.

With the U.N. having little to no access in KIA controlled areas, Bertil Lintner, a Swedish journalist and Myanmar expert claims that “the Chinese obviously want to control what — and who — is going in and out of those areas.” As a result, military forces are imposing more limitations and restrictions on aid workers banning them from IDP camps, even to the point of threatening them legally.

Therefore despite the urgency, officials are not allowing international aid organizations to enter. David Baulk, a human rights specialist in Myanmar has repeatedly made it clear the intentions of the western aid organizations, yet despite his efforts not much is being done. In late August, reports came out that the Chinese government was still advising the Myanmar authorities on the border to not allow people through.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (UNOCHA) said in their report, that “access constraints have a serious impact on the protection and welfare of conflict-affected people, including women, children and elderly people, without proper shelter and protection from heavy rains, wind and heat for extended periods, particularly in remote, hard-to reach areas.”

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

 

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