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Kachin IDPs Ready to Start Over

Jaw Masat IDP Camp, Nawng Nang, Myitkyina, Kachin State.

Kachin villagers displaced by the conflict between Burma Army and Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/A) have decided it’s time to leave the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp, where they have lived for several years, and resettle to new villages offered by the government.

Bawng Myaw, who is deputy in charge of Jor Masap IDP camp, told KNG that if the government and Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC) are in agreement they are ready to move to Sut Ra Yang and Sut Rain Yang villages, located in in Myitkyina Township, instead of Awng Lod, where they’re originally from, also located in the same township. “Because the road to Sut Ra Yang and Sut Rain Yang is better, we expect there will be more educational opportunities for our children and we’ll have a better chance of a future.”

Awng Lod village is located about 3 miles away from Sut Ra Yang village and difficult to reach. Additionally, there is a problem with flooding. But in Sut Ra Yang and Sut Rain Yang the Burma Army have set up checkpoints.

“We want the Burma army to withdraw its checkpoints from the entrance of the villages. If they are based in the village, villagers will be afraid,” said N’bwe Brang Shawng, an IDP from Jor Masap. Additionally, it makes travel difficult and it’s complicated to get to the farms.

Residents of Jor Masap officially told KHCC there decision to move to the villages on January 26.

The IDPs were displaced by fighting between Burma Army and KIO/A Brigade-2 in 2018.
Nearly 100, 000 remain displaced since a 17-year ceasefire agreement between the Burma Army and KIO/A unravelled on June 9, 2011.

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