10th June, 2014

More than 50 human rights organisations from around the globe have joined in calling for the Burmese Government to "immediately cease its attacks" in Kachin State three years after the breaking of a ceasefire between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army.

The groups - which include Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Burma Campaign UK and the Kachin National Organisation in Australia - have also called for "urgent protection" for internally displaced people within Burma and "unhindered international humanitarian access" to Kachin and Northern Shan states.

A statement issued by the UK-based CSW says that more than 120,000 Kachin people have been displaced since the Burma Army broke a 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army and at least 200 villages have been destroyed. It says that while the government and Burma Army has engaged in talks with the Kachin Independence Organisation and its armed wing, the KIA, in recent months, "attacks by the Burma Army have continued and the situation remains unstable".

CSW says that since breaking the ceasefire, the Burma Army and government have committed "myriad human rights violations with absolute impunity" with credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity warranting immediate investigation. These include the deliberate targeting of civilians by military forces, rape and others sexual violence, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention, torture and restrictions on the provision of humanitarian assistance.

The coalition of 55 groups has also called for the international community to establish an independent investigation into the use of sexual violence and for those displaced by the conflict to be compensated.

- www.csw.org.uk

- DAVID ADAMS