The senseless deaths of two young children and two adults in Rakhine State has left Save the Children deeply sad and frustrated. The children, both only five years old, were hit by what appear to have been artillery shells that fell in Nyaung Khet Kan village on the border between Ann and Myebon townships on Tuesday, September 8th (as reported by Radio Free Asia). Eight other civilians were injured according to the same report. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and we extend our heartfelt condolences for their loss.
The killings occurred on the same day the UN expressed deep concern regarding the continuing humanitarian impact of conflict in western Myanmar and urged parties to respect international humanitarian law and protect civilians, allow humanitarian access to the affected areas, and to heed the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. By one estimate, the number of civilians killed in this conflict since December 2018 in Rakhine and Chin States stands at 289, while 641 others were injured. Many children are among these victims, and the actual number of casualties is likely to be higher due to limited monitoring and reporting in the conflict-affected areas.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which Myanmar has ratified, clearly states that “Governments must do everything they can to protect and care for children affected by war and armed conflicts. Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive.”
This latest incident demonstrates once more that we must do everything we can to Stop the War on Children. Save the Children will continue its work to ensure that perpetrators of war crimes against children are held accountable for their actions and justice is served. We call on effective investigations for these crimes, because unless we do, more young lives will be lost.
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