Volunteers said they’ll soon have to turn people away if more villagers arrive at the Buddhist pagoda in Baw Kyo, where they’ve assembled a camp for civilians fleeing fighting between rival ethnic armed groups in Hsipaw Township, northern Shan State.
Although some of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) have already been able to return to their villages, the number of IDPs has risen to more than 450 in recent days, a volunteer told SHAN.
“If more IDPs arrive, we’ll not be able to accommodate them. I think we’ll have to send them to the camps in Hsipaw town.”
Most of the residents who’ve taken refuge in the pagoda have fled Pon Hpan village and Kyinthi village tract since 9 January.
Villagers who’ve had to leave their homes, livestock and farms behind have reported how difficult it’s to live in the camp, where there’s not enough food and other essentials for everyone.
“We want to return home where we still have to harvest our crops. We hope the fighting will stop soon and demand that the armed groups leave our village,” one senior told SHAN.
The Restoration Council of Shan State has clashed several times this month with members of the Northern Alliance, the Shan State Progress Party and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, in Kyaukme and Hsipaw townships.