About 200 citizens displaced by fighting between rival armed groups are still unable to return home, although soldiers have abandoned their village in Kyaukme Township, northern Shan State.
Soldiers occupied Hukwat during fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and allied groups, the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in November 2021.
A male resident who requested anonymity explained that RCSS soldiers were already there before the arrival of the SSPP and TNLA.
After they left “TNLA and SSPP told us that they tried to remove all the landmines,” the man said. Although everyone wants to go home now that the fighting has stopped, they fear that there are still some hidden explosives.
SSPP spokesperson Maj Sai Phone Harn told SHAN he understands the villagers’ dilemma. “Their village is locates in our controlled territory and we’re trying to help them. Their problem is our problem; their difficulties are our difficulties.”
The villagers have taken shelter in the Shan Literature and Culture Association building in Kyaukme town or with relatives.