As many as 10,000 ethnic Kachin refugees who fled Myanmar are facing food and water shortages and inadequate sanitation at makeshift camps in China and need support and protection, a human rights group said Tuesday.
The report by Human Rights Watch said the refugees in Yunnan province were at risk of being returned to a combat zone, and urged the Chinese government to give them temporary protection. It also called for permitting the United Nations and humanitarian agencies free access to them.
The Kachin minority in northern Myanmar has been fighting government forces since last June, when the authorities sought to shut down a Kachin militia base near a hydropower dam construction project. The hostilities ended a 17-year cease-fire and displaced about 75,000 people.