Returning IDPs Concerned About Clashes

By Network Media Group
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Kachin who will move back to their village, after being displaced by fighting between the Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/A) and Tatmadaw about nine years ago, worry about the conflict starting up again.

“We don’t want any more war,” said Ma Yaw Nan, who fled clashes that broke out near her Dabert Yang village when she was only 11-years-old.

The displaced Kachin want the government to ensure they’re safe when over 1,000 people from about 17 internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps return to Dabert Yang in early 2021.

Ma Yaw Nan said many are still traumatized. “We’re terrified of hearing the sounds of gunfire in the middle of the night like before.” With a Burma Army column stationed near Dabert Yang, she worries about how soldiers will treat them after they return.

Although, everything is proceeding smoothly, Lashi Sam Awng, who is a young pastor, told NMG that he also felt trepidation about what might happen after going home.

The Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC) is working with the government, Burma Army and KIO/A to return IDPs to the village, located in Waingmaw Township, by March of next year. It’s currently constructing housing for returnees.

The Burma Army removed 10 mines from Dabert Yang in late December, but still needs to search the farmland around the road leading to the village.

Almost 100,000 IDPs remain in the camps, after fleeing clashes between KIO/A and the Burma Army, which began on June 9, 2011.