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Unable to Return Home, Putao IDPs Say They Need Land

Lung Tsawt IDP camp, Putao, Kachin State. Photo by Hpung Hting

Kachin internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Lung Tsawt camp in northern Kachin State’s Putao have asked to be provided with a land plot to cultivate and grow their own food until they are able to return home.

Hpung Hting, who is in charge of the Lung Tsawt camp, said that the needs of the IDPs – and their inability to return home due to increasing militarization—have already been reported to the Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC) and the Kachin state chief minister.

“All of the IDPs want to return home to our native villages. But the only way to get back to our village is by waterway. The Burma Army has established a military camp at the water port there,” Hpung Hting told KNG. “IDPs are afraid to return home through this waterway. We are currently living in the compound of a church. I don’t think we can live here for long,” he explained.

The grounds of the Lung Tsawt IDP camp are owned by the Putao Kachin Baptist Association.

The 280 people in the camp are from the villages of N’hka Ga, Mapyung, N’hpyi Ga and Hpakan Yang villages in Putao District. They sought refuge there in 2013 and 2015 after clashes broke out between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army in northern Kachin State.

Those in the camp are struggling to get enough food because international humanitarian aid to them has been reduced.

 

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