Military blocks much needed relief aid in Myanmar's north
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Food deliveries can't reach 42,000 vulnerable civilians in Kachin and Shan states
Refugees in front of their temporary shelter near Lung Byeng village, Waimaw township in Kachin State. Clashes between the army and ethnic minority militias in Myanmar's borderlands have intensified in recent months, undercutting Aung San Suu Kyi's vow to bring peace to the country since her party took power in March 2016. (Photo by Hkun Lat/AFP)
After a green light from local authorities, a U.N. team left the southern Kachin state town of Banmaw recently to provide clothes to internally displaced people living in makeshift camps near the Myanmar-China border.
But their route was later blocked by the military who demanded to see permission from the state. The nod from the township was not enough. They needed higher-level authority. The internal refugees did not get their clothes that day.
Commenting on the incident, Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw said: "You can imagine the struggle to provide a humanitarian response to the people in the camps when even the U.N. is denied access."
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