Recent armed clashes in Nawngkio Township, northern Shan State have displaced nearly 4,000 people, according to local volunteers. Since 5 April, there have been almost daily clashes and IDPs are afraid to return to their villages.
On 22 April, there was intense fighting between the Burma army (BA) and a combined force of multiple People’s Defense Force (PDFs) in Nawngkio Township. More than 1,000 people from Doe Pin, Hokho, and Lon Yon villages fled to Nawngkio town to take shelter in a Buddhist monastery and in their relative’s homes.
“At the moment, there are nearly 4,000 IDPs in Nawngkio Township. Most of the IDPs are from Doe Pin and Hokho villages. Some IDPs are staying with their relatives in Nawngkio town, and some have taken shelter in the Buddhist monastery. Private donors and volunteer teams have provided some food ration for these IDPs, but it’s not enough to meet the needs,” a volunteer helping IDPs in Nawngkio town told SHAN.
Volunteers said that clashes have occurred almost daily in Nawngkio Township since 5 April. The number of displaced people increases daily as the fighting continues. IDPs are unable to return to their villages because they are afraid about their safety.
“We want to return to our village. There is no fighting near our village at the moment, so we plan to return to our village tomorrow. On the other hand, we are worried that clashes can start near our village again. We are also afraid of stepping on hidden landmines that might have been left around our village. This is why we continue staying in the IDP camp,” a male IDP, who is originally from Hokhe village, told SHAN.
The Mandalay People’s Defense Force (Mandalay PDF) reported that they have had multiple clashes with the Burma army in Nawngkio Township. The Mandalay PDF reported that nearly 100 BA soldiers including infantry battalion-147 commander Lt-Col Myat Min Tun were killed during recent clashes in the township.
On 19 April, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that more than 1.8 million people have been displaced across the country after the February 2021 military coup.