Food needed for over 1,000 new refugees fleeing Kachin, Shan conflicts

News and Press Release
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By Phanida
On Friday, 5 January 2018

The volunteers who are helping war refugees said that food relief supplies were needed for a growing number of refugees taking shelter in refugee camps in Mansi, Kachin State and Kyaukme, Shan State.

Tin Maung Thein from Kyaukme Ziwita Social Assistance Association which is helping refugees said that emergency food and blankets were needed for 1,000 new refugees taking refuge in four camps in Kyaukme.

“There are four camps in Kyaukme alone with a total number of nearly 1,000. Charity organizations in Kyaukme are providing food and relief supplies for them. We mainly need food and blankets for them,” he told Mizzima.

These nearly 1,000 refugees fled from three villages of Kyaukphyulay, Hindaing, etc. in Namsan Township, Arpyaung village in Kyaukme Township, starting from December 28, 2017 because of fighting near their villages.

“These three villages are contiguous on the ground though they are in different townships of Kyaukme and Namsan. Tatmadaw (government troops) fought with TNLA (Ta’ang National Liberation Army) and RCSS (Reunification Council of Shat State) in this area. The fighting is not so serious. Tatmadaw, RCSS and TNLA fought each other in tripartite fighting. The gunfire became intense so that they fled from their homes,” Tin Maung Thein said.

Gum Shar Awng, spokesman of JST which is giving support jointly to war refugees, said that a growing number of refugees were arriving at Kyaukme camp with a thousand more, over 100 fresh refugees in Namkham camp and in Manwingyi camp but the exact number of these refugees was not yet known.

He told Mizzima that the local organizations were currently providing assistance to these refugees but they would need food supplies going forward.

Gum Shar Awng said: “Currently the local organizations are providing assistance as much as they can but we will have difficulty in the long run. Even the assistance being given to existing IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps are considerably reduced so that we will encounter challenges in providing assistance to new refugees in the long run.”

According to reports, the Tatmadaw and TNLA had been fighting in Namsan, Kyaukme, Namtu, Namkham, Mongton townships, etc. in northern Shan State since the end of December.

Similarly there is reportedly tense military situation between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Tatmadaw in Mansi and Tanai Townships in Kachin State.