UN chief welcomes agreement to de-escalate conflict in Kachin
7 February 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the agreement by peace negotiators of the Myanmar Government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) to work on a framework to de-escalate the violent conflict in the northern state of Kachin.
“The Secretary-General urges the parties to continue their efforts towards genuine and sustainable peace in Kachin and hopes that the latest developments would result in a silencing of the guns in Myanmar for the first time since its independence,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement issued last night.
Last month, authorities in Myanmar announced a unilateral ceasefire following a three-week offensive against ethnic Kachin rebel fighters. Some 75,000 people have fled their homes in Kachin since fighting began in June 2011 between Government troops and rebels.
Mr. Ban reiterated the UN’s commitment to help and support the people of Myanmar including through its good offices and the country team.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ban’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, discussed the situation in Kachin with various senior officials and members of civil society during a four-day visit this week.
Mr. Nambiar also visited four camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myitkyina and addressed a meeting of civil society organizations and public figures in Kachin.
During his meetings, Mr. Nambiar underlined the support of the UN to the efforts being made by the Government and the KIO to come to an agreed understanding on the overall framework for the de-escalation of tensions and for the emergence of a monitoring system for such de-escalation.
He also welcomed the Government’s assurances of the resumption of access to the UN and international agencies for urgent supply of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations in Kachin, and expressed his hope that funding and aid delivery are made available immediately to address the needs of IDPs in all parts of the state.