Shan civilians displaced by fighting in Momauk (Mong Mauk)Township over a year ago are being prevented from returning to their homes by soldiers from both sides of the conflict who are in their villages in Kachin State. Fifty villages have been in hiding since March 2021.
A man familiar with the situation told SHAN on condition of anonymity that all the residents of Myo Thit, Si Hek and Kong Lor were forced to flee after their villages were caught between the frontline between the Burma Army (BA) and the Kachin Independence Army and People Defence Forces in the region. ”Fierce clashes have taken place in these villages,” he said. BA, KIA and PDF have set up camps around them.
Without a regular income and enough to eat, life in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps is difficult, the man explained.
“At first they lived in Buddhist monasteries when they fled the fighting. Later they moved to IDP camps…They’d like to return to their village, but they’re too afraid of the soldiers who are there.”
At the moment, the fighting has stopped, but no one has retreated. BA soldiers are raiding their villages, eating their livestock and shooting indiscriminately around the villages. Some homes were destroyed during BA airstrikes against KIA and PDF.
Since the military overthrew the government over a year ago, fighting between the BA and the KIA has intensified in Kachin and northern Shan states. Protesters formed PDFs all over Burma to fight the regime after BA detained and attacked them for peacefully demonstrating for the reinstatement of the democratic government.