9 February 2015 – The 88 Generation Peace and Open Society delivered a donation of food and essential products to over 1,000 Kachin war refugees sheltering in Ginsi Village-Tract, Hpakant Township, Kachin State on 6th February according to 88 Generation leader U Mya Aye.
They delivered 1,000 rice packs and other food, donated by people from various regions of Burma, to refugees in Aung-Bar-Lay and Ginsi villages.
There were fewer refugees than they were expecting because some of them had already moved elsewhere by themselves, said U Mya Aye.
He said: “Some war refugees moved to other places so their numbers had decreased. Before, we were told that there were about 700 refugees in Ginsi church, but we only saw 400 [when we got there] and there were only 50 people in Lesu village rather than 80. What we can say is that the people from both villages are refugees because they are facing difficulties travelling.”
They delivered about 800 rice packs and 40 oil boxes to the Kachin Baptist Church and the Catholic Church in Ginsi Village and to Lesu Village. They also delivered 140 rice packs and 10 oil boxes to Aung-Bar-Lay Village.
About 2,000 war refugees, including Aung-Bar-Lay villagers, have been staying in Ginsi village since fighting broke out on 15th January between the Burma Army and Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) No.6 Battalion, which is under the command of Brigade 2.
U Mya Aye said: “There is a checkpoint at Sangar and they will only allow you through if you have a recommendation letter. It is very difficult to bring food to and from there, so all the people from these villages can be regarded as refugees.”
He explained that before going to Hpakant the 88 Generation had to submit a proposal for their assistance programme to the president who gave approval for their plan. This meant that when they met with the commander of No. 66 brigade of the Burma Army there were no problems and they could deliver the aid to the refugees.
The 88 Generation group arrived back in Myitkyina town on 7th February.
After the fighting started between the Burma Army and the KIA, religious leaders and leaders from the Peace Creation Group (PCG) attempted to get the villagers and refugees out of the area for their own safety, but they were unable to because the Burma Army would not let them leave.
In a statement issued on 5th February Ms Renata Dessallien, the Burma representative of the UN Humanitarian Aid Program, urged the government and related organisations to allow humanitarian assistance into the area and to allow the relocation of refugees trapped by fighting in Kachin State.