Norwegian Refugee Council condemn deadly attack on displacement camp in Myanmar

People taking refuge in a jungle area in Kayah state. Photo: AFP

The Norwegian Refugee Council has expressed alarm over the recent deadly attack on a displacement camp in Southern Myanmar.

In a statement on 18 January, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland said that the organization condemn the airstrike that struck a displacement camp sheltering hundreds of people in Myanmar’s Kayah State on 17 January reportedly killing at least three people, including two children.

Fighting has intensified in southeastern Kayah and Kayin states since December. Some 162,000 people, including women and children, remain displaced in the two states after fleeing their homes since May 2021. More than 650 houses, monasteries, churches, and schools have reportedly been burnt or destroyed in Kayah State alone, the statement said.

“We are deeply worried about the new wave of violence and fighting targeting civilians in southeast Myanmar. We condemn yesterday’s airstrike which affected hundreds of people. These were communities that had already been forced to flee their homes because of violence, and sheltered at the displacement site in search of protection and safety. This indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians must end.

“The fighting is causing death, more displacement, and disrupting access to critical services and humanitarian aid. The de facto authorities are responsible under International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians, and we call on them to do their duty,” the Secretary-General said. 

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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