Statement by the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Mr Ashok Nigam, on clashes in Mansi, Kachin State

Yangon, 25 October 2013: The UN is deeply concerned by the situation of civilians affected by renewed clashes between Myanmar Army troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Mansi Township, Southern Kachin State. Fighting between the two sides broke out on 22 October 2013 near the villages of Nam Lim Pa and Mung Ding Pa.

The UN estimates that 1,200 internally displaced people live in Nam Lim Pa and some 500 civilians, mostly children, are sheltering in a church in Mung Ding Pa. Many displaced children have been hosted for long time in a boarding school in the area, and are now again trapped in a conflict zone. While some people have been able to escape the violence, many are unable to move to safer locations. “I am seriously concerned about the civilians being caught in any cross-fire, especially children and the elderly,” said Mr Nigam, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar. Mr Nigam strongly urges all parties to respect civilian’s fundamental right to freedom of movement and allow safe passage to their areas of choice.

The UN and partners delivered assistance through cross-line operations to this area for 1,300 IDPs in July 2012. A further mission planned for September 2013 was canceled because of renewed fighting. Local partners are currently unable to reach these locations, and the displaced have only food for a few days, according to local sources.

“Hostilities must cease and access to the displaced people for humanitarian partners be granted immediately as these people are in urgent need of assistance,” Mr Nigam stated.

For further information:
Pierre Peron, Public Information and Advocacy Officer, OCHA Myanmar
Tel: +66(0)927295411 or +95(0)9250198997.

Aye Win, National Information Officer, UNIC Yangon
Mobile: 0095 9 421060343