Hundreds of villagers sheltering in Buddhist monasteries in Momauk after fighting between armed groups in the township in Kachin State forced them from their homes last week are in desperate need of help.
”We do not have enough food for them,” the Shan Literature and Culture Association chair for Momauk Township told SHAN. He said many of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Lon Ja and Nawng Poung villages, who’re housed in Shan May Yaung Chi and Lawkamarazein monasteries, are women and children.
Villagers from Lon Ja fled after the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) clashed with the Burma Army (BA) on Lon Ja Mountain on 20 October and the regime flew air strikes on the Kachin soldiers. Residents from Shan May Yaung Chi arrived in Momauk town a few days later.
“It’s time for them to harvest their rice so the youth go to their fields (during the day) and return to the IDP camp in the evening,” the chairperson said, explaining that they have little choice as they need to earn money. Fighting on Wednesday evening on the mountain could be heard from the town.
On Sunday 23 October, the BA sent three fighter jets to bomb a crowded open-air concert celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the KIA’s political arm, the Kachin Independence Organisation, in the Brigade 9 area of Hpakant Township. Nearly one hundred people were killed and many more wounded in the attack.