Saturday, June 22, 2024

Farmers Trapped In Middle Of Fighting In Kutkai Township

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Internally displaced persons (IDPs) that took advantage of a lull in fighting to work on rotational farms are trapped in the middle of new fighting between armed groups in Kutkai Township, located in northern Shan State.

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Residents of the Karlai Zau Awng IDP camp, where the farmers live, told SHAN they’re concerned about their safety.

“This year has been silent,” says Sayar Nawng Latt, prompting some IDPs from the camp to return to their village to work on their farms. But fighting between the Burma Army and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) broke out unexpectedly this Tuesday and continued yesterday, he says. 

The families wonder if their loved ones trapped in the middle of the clashes near Nawng Hpan and Karlai villages are unharmed or if they’ve been arrested by the Burma Army.

“All the farmers are all men, so we’re really worried that the Burma Army will charge with article 17/1 for communication with an unlawful association,” Sayar Nawng Latt says, explaining there isn’t phone connectivity in the area.

He says fighting started around 3 p.m. Tuesday near Nawng Hpan. Clashes broke out again yesterday near Nawng Hpan and Nam Phoo around 6:30 a.m.

By motorbike, Karlai Zup Awng is about one and a half hours from where the fighting is happening, Sayar Nawng Latt says.

Despite multiple attempts to reach Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team and TNLA for comment about the fighting, at the time of press, no-one responded.

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