IDPs in Sumprabum Township need humanitarian aid

Thousands of local people need humanitarian assistance after fleeing armed clashes in Sumprabum town of Puta-O District in Kachin State. The IDPs need aid including food rations and shelter materials.

Clashes have occurred in Sumprabum town since 9 March, when the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attempted to capture the town from the Burma army. Residents of Sumprabum town fled the fighting and have taken shelter in nearby villages and forest areas for more than 10 days.

“Some people are hiding in the jungle. Some people have taken shelter in villages. These IDPs need emergency aid including food rations and medicine. The vehicle road is closed so access is limited. These IDPs are sharing food among themselves,” a Christian pastor working in the Sumprabum area told KNG.

The Myitkyina–Puta-O highway has been closed due to the clashes. Some IDPs have taken shelter in villages along the road.

People from villages located along the Sumprabum–Myitkyina road were displaced by the clashes, including those from Su Yang, Mai Htawng, Hka Garan Yang and Nta Galu villages.

“All people have left to take shelter in safer areas. Some people are staying at their relative’s homes in nearby villages, while approximately 200 people are hiding in the jungle. They need a proper IDP camp to stay in,” the Christian pastor told KNG.

On 9 March, a combined force of KIA and People’s Defense Force (PDF) seized the Mali Yang military camp from the Burma army in Sumprabum Township. Since then, KIA and PDF troops have continued to attack the Burma army’s Infantry Battalion 46 (IB-46) headquarters located in Sumprabum town.

The Burma army has launched airstrikes and fired artillery shells while defending its position in Sumprabum town. The Burma army has sent additional troops into Sumprabum town by land routes and air transport.

Both the KIA and the Burma army have suffered causalities during the clashes in Sumprabum town, according to local sources. Kachin News Group have not been able to independently verify the causality numbers.

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