The regime is trying to force thousands of people displaced by the conflict in Kyaukme Township back home but an armed Ta’ang group in northern Shan State has refused to let them return.
”We are so confused because the Burma Army (BA) have ordered us to go back but the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) won’t allow it because they say there’s hidden landmines planted around our villages that they haven’t removed,” said a man, who’s one of 5,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from 28 villages.
”The BA just wants to project an image of Burma being stable and peaceful,” to make it seem like there’s no conflict or displaced populations in the country, he explained. But aid groups haven’t been given permission to help the IDPs in Kyaukme Township, the man said.
The IDPs fled their homes to escape last year’s fighting between the allied forces of the TNLA and Shan State Progress Party that were fighting with the Restoration Council of Shan State. Some of them have taken shelter in Pan Lon village in Hopong Township, southern Shan State.