Over a thousand people uprooted by conflict in northern Shan State require emergency support. They can’t return home because fighting between ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) is ongoing in Namtu Township, aid workers told SHAN, and newcomers arriving at the rudimentary displacement camps set up in villages are stretching what support is left.
Loung Ba Nyan, who is helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Namtu Township, said because many people fled their homes in the last week it is difficult to provide for them and those who took refuge from earlier bouts of fighting.
They need basic supplies like rice, oil and salt. But no-one is coming to help them, said a man working with the IDPs. Instead they are relying on the generosity of other villagers to feed them. Most of them are elderly, women and children.
Since the first week of February, the Restoration Council of Shan State fought with combined forces: Shan State Progress Party and Ta’ang National Liberation Army in Namtu Township.
Shells landed in many villages in northern Shan State, sometimes injuring and killing civilians. On March 28, shells destroyed five homes in Pan Lon village, located in Loung Ba Nyan Township. A few days earlier, a Buddhist monk was injured by shrapnel after a bomb landed in a monastery in Pan Kut village, located in Namtu Township. Fighting between EAOs killed at least five civilians this year.