The Women’s League of Burma (WLB) denounced all acts of violence and called for the country to come together and support peace in a statement issued to mark International Peace Day.
“Various conflicts are occurring in Myanmar, for example the communal violence in Rakhine State. No matter who is responsible for perpetrating the conflict, we denounce violence,” said Lway Poe Ngeal, general secretary of the Women’s League of Burma (WLB).
She added that the statement refers not only to the Rakhine conflict, but extends to human rights abuses committed in Shan and Kachin states.
In its statement, the WLB condemned all armed conflicts, communal conflicts, human rights violations and instigators who attempt to enflame the situation. The statement called for action to be taken against all who violate the law.
The on-going armed conflicts in Kachin and Shan states hinders the peace process, while harming innocent civilians and leading to large numbers of displaced persons, according to the statement.
Civilians have also lost their lives and homes in the on-going violence in the Rakhine State, the statement added. The UN estimates that over 420,000 Muslim residents of northern Rakhine state, including more than 250,000 children, have fled over the border to Bangladesh. Government figures also estimate around 30,000 Rakhine and ethnic minorities have been internally displaced amid the fighting between the Tatmadaw and an armed militant group.
Sufficient humanitarian assistance is needed for innocent civilians who have been affected by conflicts in Shan, Kachin and Rakhine states and the government needs to provide its assistance without blocking organizations which provide humanitarian aid, Lway Poe Ngeal said.
The WLB expressed concern that violence can spread to other areas if the authorities fail to take effective action.
“We still haven’t achieved peace in our country” said Lway Poe Ngeal, adding that women must be included in peace-related activities in order to ensure genuine ceasefires. “We believe we can only have a genuine peace when women are allowed to participate,” she said.