British Foreign Minister and Western Embassies Issue Statements and Concerned The New Development of Clearance Operations in Rakhine State Involving Impacts of Civilians Suffering and Urge Myanmar Military to Respect ICJ Provision Measurement to Protect Civilians

Villagers in Kyauk Tan village tract are running out of the villages

AN: Sittway. June 27, 2020. 


British Foreign Minister for Asia and western diplomatic missions in Yangon issue statements today and concern the ongoing clearance operations in Rathedaung township in Rakhine State and urge Myanmar military to uphold and respect order of the International Criminal Court to protect civilian populations.


European Union Ambassador Kristian Schmidt said he is closely monitoring the situation in Kyauk Tan village tract and urges to respect international humanitarian law. 


Nigel Adams, Foreign Minister for Asia, said, “We are concerned by the reports of ongoing clearance operations by the Myanmar military in Rakhine State, which have caused thousands of civilians to flee their homes.


Myanmar military has ordered villagers to leave from their homes while conducting clearance operations in Kyauk Tan village tract since June 24. 


Thousands of civilians have run away from their homes since the order was issued and left all their belongings behind. 


The villagers do not know when they will be able to return homes and when the military will lift the clearance operations.  


The minister shares the operations have disproportionate impact on civilian populations and permanent property and livelihoods damages. 


He said, “We urge the military to uphold its obligations to protect civilian populations, and respect the order issued earlier this year by the International Court of Justice.”


Similar statement is issued by embassies of British, US, Australia, and Canada in Yangon and said the embassies are concerned the ongoing clearance operation in Kyauk Tan village tract and worsening humanitarian and security situation Rakhine and Chin states. 


The embassies urged authorities to allow access for humanitarian organizations to deliver assistances and to provide appropriate response to communities in facing of Covid-19 pandemic and monsoon season. 


The statement said, “We are aware of the historic impacts of such operations disproportionately affecting civilians. Access for humanitarian organization must be allowed to provide appropriate response, particularly as communities respond to COVID19 and monsoon season.” 


The embassies further details of impact on civilians in the conflicts with clear and strong wording.

“The protection of civilians, their property and livelihoods by all parties must prioritised. The fleeing villagers along the Kyauktan village tract will further contribute to the Rakhine’s already significant and increasing internally displaced population. We aware of report of burning property, shelling and the arrests of villagers,” The statement said.

The foreign missions urge Arakan Army and Myanmar military to restraint fighting in populated areas and to allow for communities freely seek for their own livelihoods where they feel safe and survive. 


The statement further goes on, “Civilians continues to bear the brunt of the conflict in Rakhine and Chin States. Dialogue between the armed actors is urgently needed. Myanmar military Has obligation under the international law and to implement the international Court of Justice (ICJ) provisional measures.”


Similarly, European Ambassador Kristian Schmidt writes on his Twitter, “I am monitoring these new developments in Rakhine’s Kyauktan with great concerned. Civilians must be protected and humanitarian law respected.”


Several civilians are killed, injured, and arrested in Ann, Rathedaung, and Kyauktaw tonwhsips in this week by the military’s shells and shootings. 


There is no sign seen Myanmar military will reduce clearance operations in Rakhine State that suffer hundreds of thousands of people in spite of international calling for restraint and respect for international humanitarian law and ICJ provisional measures unless concrete actions are taken such as imposing economic sanctions and prosecuting individual perpetrators in international war criminal courts.


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