French-NGO Clinic Attacked With Crude Bomb In Northern Burma

Saturday, 05 September 2009 15:24
A crude bomb was hurled at a small clinic run by an international non-governmental organization (INGO) on August 25 evening in Burma’s northern Kachin State. No one was injured, said local sources.

The special clinic for Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs), which is run by Frence-rooted health NGO known as Medecins du Monde (MDM), also called Doctors of the World, in Ubyit village, 10 miles north of Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina, was attacked with a crude bomb, said villagers.
090409-mdm According to villagers, the police are yet to find out who is responsible. A woman in the village, who sells gun powder for making ‘fishing bombs’, was arrested by policemen from No. 1 Police Station in Myitkyina.

The incident is not linked to any of the Kachin ceasefire groups. Neither is it related to the current military tension between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Burmese ruling junta, said village sources. Col. Tet Pung of the Myitkyina-based Northern Regional Command of the junta visited Ubyit two days after the explosion and said it was an act of terrorism. He warned the villagers of Ubyit and other surrounding areas like Alam, Dumgan, Chyinghkrang, Lungga Zup and Lamung Zup and said “Your God also does not like terrorism”.

Some irate Ubyit villagers told Col. Tet Pung that the number of drug users and smugglers has increased in the village because of the clinic. The Burmese military officer was requested to solve the problems of the village.

Villagers said the MDM clinic is freely distributing disposable syringes, Anti-retroviral (ART) drugs and regular food to IDUs and non-IDUs. It was because of this, drug users from different areas gather in Ubyit and the villagers are facing problems of their belongings being stolen by drug users for their daily dose of heroin, added villagers.

Most villagers of Ubyit and surrounding villages would like the clinic to be closed because they have been suffering from the problems related to drug users and smugglers since the MDC clinic opened in Ubyit village in 2004.

The French-NGO arrived Burma in 1991 for the project of prevention and education of HIV/AIDS and STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and is based in Myitkyina since early 1998.

The big problem of INGOs in military-ruled Burma is that they cannot implement their projects properly given the close watch the junta keeps on them, said local INGO sources.
Kachin news

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