Some 30,000 people displaced by the junta’s offensives and fighting with civilian resistance groups in Karenni State have fled to southern Shan State, where volunteers are trying to house and feed them as best they can, though support is limited.
“Everyone is facing difficulties. They need more food, warm clothes and blankets. Some people could not take anything with them when they fled. The women need sanitary pads,” a Buddhist monk helping them in Nyaung Shwe told SHAN.
Civilians affected by the violence have also sought shelter in other places in Pinlaung Township and in Taunggyi, Pekon, Hsihseng, Aungpan and Kalaw townships, as well as around Inlay Lake.
According to the Women’s League of Burma, more than 170,000 people were uprooted by the violence in Loikaw, Demawso, Hpruso in Karenni State and around Moebye in southern Shan State.
The Karenni’s Voice reported that the Burma Army launched at least 10 airstrikes in Karenni State between 1 and 8 January, with clashes with resistance groups still occurring.
Buddhist monks in southern Shan State rescued monks from the Pobbayon Buddhist Learning Centre in Loikaw. “We are very lucky because the day after we left, our monastery was hit by a shell,” said one of the monks, who is now safely at Wailuwon Buddhist Monastery in Taunggyi.
The senior monk at Wailuwon told SHAN, that the monastery has arranged for 8 monks and 40 novices to be picked up from the Karenni State capital. “All the novices will soon take their final exams and that is why we have taken them all in.”
Many houses and religious buildings have been destroyed by the junta’s air raids and shelling in Loikaw, displacing at least half of the 51,000 inhabitants.