Civilians have been unable to return to their homes since soldiers from a Military Council column attacked their villages and arrested over 30 people in Kachin State.
Most of the residents from Yay Lae, Sintap, and Mosit in western Shwegu Township managed to flee before the column arrived on 18 September. They torched 48 houses in Yay Lae and 4 houses in Mosit.
According to an anonymous local source, the column is currently camped in Yay Lae and Sintap. He also said there’s about 100 Burma army soldiers staying in the centre of Shwegu town who often cross the river with a motorboat to the west bank of the Irrawaddy River. “They came to Yay Le and Sintap yesterday,” he told the KNG on Tuesday. The soldiers staying in a Buddhist monastery in the town also entered the two villages last Friday.
Another local source, also requesting anonymity, mentioned that only a few people have returned to their villages to feed their animals. “They are very cautious when they return to their village because they’re terrified of the soldiers.”
The soldiers arrested over 20 people from Yay Lae and 10 people from Mosit when they first arrived, and no one has heard from them since. Over 4,000 people are hiding in the jungle.
Regime soldiers frequently patrol the township, given its proximity to Katha Township in Sagaing Region, an area witnessing significant resistance activity.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported in early September that about 10,000 new internally displaced persons (IDPs) were recorded in Kachin State in early August. There were about 14,000 IDPs in Shwegu Township in March. The report by UNOCHA mentioned that they are awaiting permission from the Military Council to travel to the area to provide humanitarian aid to the civilians.