The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) strongly denounces the Burmese military’s offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and atrocities against civilians including rape, murder and abduction of young men.
The Burmese military attack on a KIA post in Eastern Kachin State on 9 June 2011 and subsequent fighting has driven thousands of civilians out of their homes into the Kachin-China border areas.
KWAT is outraged about the implication of the offensive to the Kachin people, in particular, the impact on women and children in the areas. KWAT demands an immediate stop to the offensive by the Burmese military against Kachin and other ethnic groups.
The offensive has increased displacement and human rights violations in the conflict areas. Young men have been abducted by the Burmese army; local people are being used as porters to carry the Burmese military supplies. And at least six women and girls have been raped by Burmese soldiers, and three were killed after rape.
Kachin refugees and internally displaced people are struggling to find shelter, food and medical supplies. Local communities on the Kachin-China border have been trying to give assistance to them with their very limited capacity. A relief committee has been set up to provide emergency assistance to the refugees and displaced people. Due to lack of resources and supplies, the committee has been facing extreme challenges in providing assistance to the overwhelming number of refugees.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have restricted the movement of people and supplies along the Kachin–China border. This has increased difficulties for the relief workers to distribute food and supplies to refugees and internally displaced people.
Therefore, the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand would like to:
- urge the Burmese military to immediately stop the offensive against Kachin and other ethnic groups and to withdraw from the ethnic areas;
- urge the Burmese military to stop atrocities including rape of Kachin women;
- call on the Chinese government to accept refugees and provide humanitarian assistance and support to civilians;
- call on Asean and neighbouring countries, in particular, China to mediate in the conflict;
- urge the international community to condemn the Burma army’s offensive and to provide emergency support and humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians.
The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) is a non profit-making organisation working on behalf of Kachin women. It has a vision of a Kachin State where all forms of discrimination are eliminated; where all women are empowered to participate in decision making at a local, national and international level; and where all Kachin children have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.