UN Says Almost 100,000 Civilians Displaced by Junta Attacks in Kayah State

By The Irrawaddy 9 June 2021

Nearly 100,000 local people, including women and children, in Kayah State in southeastern Myanmar have been displaced by recent “indiscriminate attacks by security forces against civilian areas,” the UN’s office in Myanmar said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, UN Myanmar said it is concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Kayah State and other areas in southeastern Myanmar, as many of the displaced are currently seeking safety in host communities and forests across the state and southern parts of neighboring Shan State.

“This crisis could push people across international borders seeking safety, as already seen in other parts of the country,” it said.

Kayah State has seen fighting between Myanmar regime troops and local civilian guerrilla resistance groups opposed to military rule since last month. Both sides have sustained casualties in sporadic shootouts. In response, the junta’s soldiers have raided and shelled civilian areas, rampaging through residences and religious buildings and forcing local civilians into hiding in nearby forests.

Since the military staged a coup in February, Myanmar has been plunged into turmoil as civil unrest has erupted against the regime. More than four months on, the junta is facing nationwide opposition, including guerrilla-style armed resistance in several areas including in Kayah State. People in the conflict-hit areas and elsewhere are in urgent need of food, water, shelter and access to healthcare.

The UN called on the regime’s security forces to allow safe passage of humanitarian supplies and personnel and to facilitate the direct provision of relief assistance by the UN and its partners to all those in need in Kayah, as well as other states and regions across the country where there are urgent humanitarian needs.

It said that “ongoing insecurity, travel restrictions imposed by security forces, and poor road conditions, however, are delaying the delivery of these supplies.”

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