100,000 Displaced By Conflict In Sagaing Region

Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Burma’s Sagaing Region estimate that around 100,000 people in the area have been displaced by Tatmadaw attacks and fighting with resistance forces.

”Many people who’re afraid to live in their villages in Shwebo District have already taken refuge. Some have been displaced by the clashes along the Chintwin River in Kani, Yin Mar Pin and Mingin townships,” a man from a CSO told KNG.

The source explained that it’s extremely difficult to determine the exact number of those affected by the fighting due to poor communication in the region.

According to locals, BA has deployed reinforcements to Pinlebu, Kawlin, Katha, Wontho and Tigyaing townships in northern Sagaing region and shut down internet and cellular services.

A man from Pinlebu Township told KNG that, to his knowledge, more than 10,000 people have fled from 11 villages, but acknowledged that the number is likely higher.

According to the CSO, a total of 12 villages have been affected by the violence. The villages are Ohn Pin, Yon Pin, Hser Tawng Pon, Mya Ganai, Inn Gar, Kani, Wan Bel Inn, Nawng Muu, Nawng Ying, Kyokya Winn, Thein Zin and Kyauk Oo.

“Many people were displaced by clashes after BA sent more troops to Sagaing Region,” the CSO worker told KNG.  The violence has prevented them from harvesting their pea and sesame.

According to Burma’s interim National Unity Government, the People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) fought the Tatmadaw along the Mu River from 22 to 24 September, resulting in heavy casualties for the Tatmadaw. The PDFs captured weapons and other military equipment.

On 23 September, the Internet was shut down in Ayardaw, Yin Mar Pin, Kani, Pale, Yay Oo, Butalin and Taze townships, and on 26 September in Wontho, Pinlebu and Kawlin.

According to locals, many Tatmadaw troops arrived in Hser Pon Tawng in Pinlebu Township on 25 September. BA military planes launched an air raid on Wan Bel Inn village, also in the same township, the next day after internet and phone services were shut down.

A Kawlin man told the KNG that there were explosions in the town, but no one was injured. “Many villagers ran away when the BA came, but the soldiers in Pinlebu Township haven’t set fire to any houses until now.”

According to the Shwebo PDF, Tatmadaw soldiers in civilian clothes patrolling Shwebo Township killed several local youths. The civilian resistance group warned residents not to drive vehicles on the roads between villages and townships in Sagaing Region between 7pm and 5am.

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