Statement by the Diplomatic Missions of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark,
Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland,
Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States
on Humanitarian Access to northern part of Rakhine State
December 9, 2016
As friends of Myanmar, we are deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in northern part of Rakhine State. We have welcomed the Government’s agreement to allow a resumption of humanitarian assistance and initial deliveries to some villages, but we are concerned by delays and urge all Myanmar authorities to overcome the obstacles that have so far prevented a full resumption, noting that tens of thousands of people who need humanitarian aid, including children with acute malnutrition, have been without it now for nearly two months.
This assistance is desperately needed to address serious humanitarian needs but also to begin to restore the confidence and hope that are essential to a restoration of peace and stability. Full and unfettered access is essential for humanitarian agencies to conduct a comprehensive assessment of current humanitarian needs in support of the Government’s humanitarian response. The re-establishment of access to markets and livelihoods is also very important.
We continue to discuss with the Government the many other issues associated with the situation in Rakhine State, including the need to restore peace in the area after the attacks against security personnel, the allegations of abuse in the subsequent security operations, as well as the importance of enhanced communication. Security forces must ensure protection of all civilians. The recent creation of the Investigation Commission offers an opportunity to investigate these incidents and allegations objectively and transparently, as well as expose all acts of violence and abuse.