Civilians from nearly fifty Shan villages fled their homes after increasing conflict in Kachin State. Ongoing fighting between Burma Army and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) erupted in Mong Mauk (Momauk) Township, forcing villagers to seek safety from the violence.
Sai Soe Moe Aung, from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), said most of the villagers fled to Buddhist monasteries in Mong Mauk and Bhamo towns. On April 10, when hostilities started in the township, there were at least four civilians killed, according to SNLD.
After KIA captured a military camp in the township, clashes increased with Burma Army, which sent reinforcements to recapture its camp, according to a man from Mong Mauk observing the fighting. When it failed to retake its camp on the first attempt, he said the military launched airstrikes, destroying homes and a Buddhist monastery. Over 20,000 villagers along the Tar Pein River are displaced.
The man told SHAN the Burma Army want to take out the KIA because Duwa Lashi La, an ethnic Kachin, was appointed vice-president of the newly established National Unity Government (NUG).
Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), formed by elected lawmakers ousted during the coup nearly three months ago, announced the creation of NUG on April 16.
In northern Shan State, over 2,000 villagers who fled ongoing fighting between ethnic armed groups face food shortages.
“Some of the IDPs (internally displaced persons) who returned home have come back because clashes are still happening,” said a man helping them. He said they fled from four village tracts in Namtu Township.
Fighting between Restoration Council of Shan State and combined forces: Shan State Progress Party and Ta’ang National Liberation Army has been breaking out in northern Shan State since early March. There have been several civilian casualties and many homes destroyed during shelling.
The IDPs are staying in Yay-O, Mansan and Pansan Buddhist monasteries in the town of Namtu.