As Anti-coup Protesters Face Crackdown, Ethnic Nationalities Urgently Appeal for Aid

CSW has received first-hand reports of anti-coup protests in Burma’s (Myanmar’s) major cities of Rangoon, Mandalay, and the capital Naypyidaw, as well as in the ethnic states, particularly Kachin and Chin states. There are concerns about the implications of the coup for vulnerable internally displaced peoples (IDPs) in the ethnic states.

Police in Burma have responded to a fourth day of anti-coup protests with increasing force, seriously injuring several people after water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets were deployed.

Dozens of protesters have been arrested, as tens of thousands of people across Burma demonstrated against the military coup which overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected civilian-led government on 1 February.

On 8 February the Joint Strategy Team, a group of local humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) providing assistance to people affected by armed conflict in Kachin and northern Shan States, issued an appeal to the UN and the international community, calling for “safe and unimpeded humanitarian access” for NGOs providing assistance to IDPs and in response to COVID-19.

The Joint Strategy Team said that “the military coup is severely affecting the IDPs communities in Kachin and Northern Shan states. The military are taking more positions with armed troops and artillery, even in towns; and it has impacted on the transportation and movement of local people including IDPs. The civilian population is very worried, fearing that armed clashes will occur.”

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SOURCE: Assist News Service

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