International community must support non‐military solutions in northern Myanmar

20 June 2011
Article

Following new eruptions of violence in northern Myanmar, civil society organizations have issued a statement calling for urgent international engagement and dialogue to support non-military solutions. 

As civil society working for peace and development in Myanmar, we write to express our grave concern over the rapidly deteriorating situation in Northern Myanmar, especially in Kachin State, where recent fighting threatens to escalate into a full-scale conflict with critical consequences. Sparked in part by increased tensions due to large-scale infrastructure development in the area, fighting erupted on June 9 and has already led to thousands of refugees fleeing the area and the threat of renewed all out fighting.

The dire situation not only directly affects the people of Kachin and Northern Shan states but could also gave an enduring negative effect on the process of reform and transition that has emerged from the November 2010 elections. It threatens to set the country back to the power structures of military rule from before the convening of the central and regional parliaments.

In this remote an highly isolated area the situation is evolving rapidly. there is a deep concern that the current crisis will develop into large scale violence and erupton of open fighting between the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independence Army for the first time since signing of a cease fire agreement in 1994.

Download the full statement here.

Signatories: 

  • Fiona Dove, Transnational Institute
  • Andrew Tomlinson, Quaker UN Office
  • Emma Leslie, Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Saskia Kunst, Burma Centre Netherlands
  • Klaus Fritsche, German Asia Foundation (Asia House)
  • Gus Miclat, Initiatives for International Dialogues
  • Patricia DeBoer, American Friends Service Committee