Northern Shan State IDPs In Need of Aid, ‘Especially Food’

Namgut villagers near Kutkai, northern Shan State, Burma, Aug. 18, 2019

Clashes are ongoing between the Burma Army and members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups in northern Shan State, with the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) increasing and in need of emergency aid.

According to Hkawng Dau, who works with the Northern Shan State Humanitarian Coordination Committee, some 700 people have sought refuge in temporary camps in Kutkai, where much of the fighting has taken place. That number continues to rise, as people seek refuge in monasteries, churches, and relatives’ homes.

“They need humanitarian assistance at the moment. They especially need food. I haven’t seen donor groups come to provide assistance. As of today, some IDPs still haven’t gotten any assistance,” Hkawng Dau told KNG.

The Burma Army and joint forces belonging to the Arakan Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army have clashed along the road connecting Kutkai, Nampaka, Lashio, and Muse every day since August 15.

On August 15, the armed groups carried out coordinated attacks on strategic military and police locations in northern Shan State and Pyin Oo Lwin, including the Defense Services Technological Academy. The move, they said, was a counter-attack to ongoing offensives against them by the Tatmadaw, despite the military declaring a unilateral ceasefire in northern Shan State.

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