Left Menu
Development News Edition

UN fears for dying people in Myanmar's Rakhine, calls for aid access

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 15-05-2019 12:41 IST | Created: 15-05-2019 11:27 IST
UN fears for dying people in Myanmar's Rakhine, calls for aid access
"We need access – predictable, sustained access – to reach the people in need," Muller told Reuters late on Tuesday, at the end of a six-day visit to the southeast Asian nation. Image Credit: Wikipedia

A U.N. official has urged Myanmar to grant aid workers "predictable, sustained access" to Rakhine state, where fighting between government troops and rebels has displaced nearly 33,000 people since late last year, saying lack of aid has cost lives.

Ursula Mueller, a U.N. assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said authorities had turned down her requests to meet those displaced by the conflict in a region barred to most aid groups since the fighting broke out. "We need access – predictable, sustained access – to reach the people in need," Muller told Reuters late on Tuesday, at the end of a six-day visit to the southeast Asian nation.

"If the assistance, including mobile clinics, cannot get to the people, they just don't have the services and their needs are not being met and some people are dying." Reuters could not immediately reach a government spokesman to seek comment.

Rakhine has been in the global spotlight since 2017, after roughly 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing a military crackdown in response to militant attacks crossed into neighbouring Bangladesh. U.N. investigators have called for senior military officers to be prosecuted over allegations of mass killings, gang rapes and arson. The military denies widespread wrongdoing.

More recently, civilians have been caught up in clashes between the military and the Arakan Army, an insurgent group that recruits from the mainly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine population and is fighting for greater autonomy for the state. During her visit, Mueller met senior officials in the capital, Naypyitaw, including state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who said she was working towards "development and social cohesion" in Rakhine.

"I was pointing out the humanitarian needs that are existing that need to be urgently met," she added. Mueller also visited camps outside Sittwe, the state's capital, where thousands of Rohingya have been confined since a previous bout of violence in 2012. Most lack citizenship and face curbs on movement and access to basic services.

Myanmar has been working with the U.N on a strategy to close the camps, but it amounts to building new, more permanent homes in the same place rather than letting people return to areas from which they fled, Reuters reported last year. Mueller, who is also a deputy coordinator for emergency relief, said she had discussed the strategy with officials.

"It's not enough to erect buildings on the same site while the underlying causes are not addressed," she added. "People have no freedom of movement. They are losing hope after seven years in this camp."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Migration post-COVID 19: Taking cues from the past to rebuild economies

Migrants are an irreplaceable part of even the essential workforce of developed countries and are on the frontline in the fight against the crisis, making an immeasurable contribution to saving the lives of natives with voting rights....

Socialization Post-COVID-19: Local associations and online groups to play crucial role

Though every age group is suffering due to the global lockdown caused by the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges before adolescents are unique. Their social space has shrunk drastically, besides, they have become highly vulnerable to ...

Pharma post-COVID 19: Reducing political clout can alter business models

Powerful governments that have historically supported the pharma industry in enforcing global intellectual property rules are changing course and introducing legislation that can override normal patent rights during emergencies....

COVID 19 response: Big data is of big help but concerns remain unanswered

Public monitoring tools developed to fight the pandemic could pave the way to more invasive forms of mass surveillance post COVID-19....

Videos

Latest News

UK's Sunak authorises bailout plan to rescue strategically important companies - FT

British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has authorised a bailout plan to rescue companies that are seen as strategically important, with the state expected to buy stakes in crucial businesses that are facing acute financial problems, the Finan...

Soccer-Seville derby could lead Spanish soccer restart -La Liga chief

La Liga president Javier Tebas has said he hopes a derby between Real Betis and Sevilla will kick the Spanish top-flight season back into action on June 11 after being paused for three months during the coronavirus pandemic. There is a poss...

Esports-Aubameyang considering own esports team after virtual F1 debut

Arsenals top-scoring striker and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who raced for McLaren in Sundays virtual Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, is considering setting up his own esports team. The Gabonese is a keen video gamer, and has been get...

Health News Roundup: France has lowest daily rise in new COVID cases; China reports three new coronavirus cases and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs. France has lowest daily rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths since lockdownFrench authorities reported the smallest daily rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths on Sunday since bef...

Give Feedback