Burma Campaign UK has launched a campaign calling on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to personally go to Burma to negotiate the lifting of restrictions on humanitarian aid access in Rakhine State.
Since 9th October, 160,000 people have been denied life-saving aid by the government and military.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Commander-in-Chief of the military Min Aung Hlaing have ignored all calls to allow aid in. Only someone with the stature of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon may have a chance to get them to let aid in.
Since attacks on police border posts in Rakhine State on 9th October, the military and security forces have retaliated with a violent crackdown in areas where ethnic Rohingya live. There are credible reports of hundreds of Rohingya being killed, dozens of rapes of Rohingya women, mass arrests, beatings, burning of villages, and forced relocation by the military and security forces. All of these human rights abuses could meet the criteria of violations of international law.
The humanitarian situation in Rakhine State was already an unacceptable crisis even before these new restrictions were introduced. The NLD-led government had kept in place severe restrictions on humanitarian aid to the Rohingya, resulting in deaths and widespread unnecessary suffering. It was the policy of previous governments in Burma to use a combination of impoverishment and human rights violations to try to drive ethnic Rohingya out of the country.
“Ban Ki-moon needs to get on a plane to Burma now and insist to Aung San Suu Kyi and Min Aung Hlaing that they let aid in,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK “He needs to negotiate full access, not just a return to the previous situation, which was already unacceptable.”