17 January 2013 The United Nations envoy to Myanmar today called on all parties in the country to work to ease tensions, resume dialogue, and ensure that there is humanitarian access to those who have been affected by the violence in the states of Kachin and Rakhine.
In a media note, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Vijay Nambiar, noted that he had just returned from a four-day visit to the country, during which he met with various senior Government officials, including Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham.
During his meetings, Mr. Nambiar underlined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s concern over the continuing attacks in different parts of the country, including Rakhine state, where more than 115,000 people have been displaced due to violence related to ethnic tensions, and Kachin state, where some 75,000 people have fled their homes since fighting began in June 2011 between Government troops and rebels.
Regarding the resumption of dialogue in the northern state of Kachin, the UN envoy stressed that while the matter was for the parties to negotiate among themselves, the United Nations has an interest in seeing that the continued stalemate and escalated tensions do not “undermine the overall direction of reform and transformation in the country or adversely affect the positive international atmosphere that had been generated so far.”
Mr. Nambiar also reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to support Myanmar and appealed for greater humanitarian access in the region for UN agencies and other humanitarian partners so that they could “further scale up relief work and assist communities impacted by the recent escalation in the conflict.”
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