Conflict Forces IDPs To Seek Safety In Kyaukme

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The escalation of fighting between rival armed ethnic groups in northern Shan State is putting pressure on aid workers, who’re having to help more and more villagers displaced by the violence in Kyaukme Township with limited food and shelter.

IDPs at Kyaukme
IDPs at Kyaukme

“As the number of IDPs is increasing, there are few donors to provide them with food,” Shan Literature and Culture Association (SLCA) chairperson Loung Lian Han told SHAN.

According to a volunteer, hundreds of people from Hu Suan village tract, previously uprooted by fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State and Shan State Progress Party and Ta’ang National Liberation Army, have sought shelter at Mang Hkar internally displaced person (IDP) camp and SLCA’s hall, both located in Kyaukme town.

“More than 200 IDPs from the first group (from Hu Suan village tract) have arrived in Kyaukme… Volunteers have set out to bring more people, but rain has hampered the journey,” she told SHAN. Two months ago, more than 1,500 people had fled fighting in the same area.

Mang Hkar IDP camp has a capacity of 200 people and has already reached half of them. When it’s full, all the others will be taken to the SLCA hall.

A woman who’d already been displaced had to flee again when fighting broke out near her place of shelter. ”We were afraid that the fighting would come closer to our camp, so we moved to Kyaukme town,” she told SHAN.

In Kyaukme Township, about 2,500 IDPs live in Mang Hkar, Mong Ting, Nam Sawt, Byein Hkar, Ner Moong, Kyu Shaw and Mong Ngor camps.

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