EU demands aid access to Northern Maungdaw

May 15, 2017

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A senior European Union official has urged Myanmar to allow full aid access to northern Maungdaw, amid a dire humanitarian situation created by Tatmadaw led clearance operations that have killed more than a thousand, including infant children.

Christos Stylianides, the European Union commissioner for aid said that he pushed for unrestricted humanitarian access to the affected region, according to AFP.

The tour included a visit to northern Maungdaw where the Tatmadaw operations took place.

AFP also reported that Myanmar is the second largest aid recipient of EU in Asia after Afghanistan, with a commitment of 800 million euros from 2014 to 2020.

Myanmar however regularly withholds aid destined for Rohingya Muslims, and there is little monitoring of the ground situation by international agencies. 

A report also said that a thousand children might have died because the UN was prevented from delivering life saving supplies as the Tatmadaw sealed off the Muangdaw and Buthidaung townships. 

The commissioner expressed worries about not getting enough aid before the onslaught of the monsoon season. He also opposed plans by authorities to resettle Rohingyas from destroyed villages in ‘model villages’ a synonym for IDP camps, similar to what exists in the Akyab region.

The Muslim IDP camps in Akyab and elsewhere have been described by the international media as open air prisons where conditions are one of the worst in the world.

Tatmadaw and Hlun Htein officials have told residents of the destroyed village tracts in Northern Maungdaw that their habitats are now government property, and they must move elsewhere, without offering any detailed explanation.

The village tracts include Kya Ri Prang, Zammoinna, Kawa Bil, Nsa Sa Gru, Ludaing, Lound Don, Sa Li Frang, Bor Gazi Bil, Ra Bai La and Naffura. These villages were places of gruesome atrocities committed by the Tatmadaw led forces which included firing into civilian houses with heavy weapons, abducting and executing Rohingya men, mass rape and abduction of women, and throwing infant children into the fire.