Urgent Humanitarian Update for Kachin State January 23, 2018

Fresh fighting between the Myanmar Government Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) recently took place in Sumprabum and Hpakan township in Kachin State.

Since 19 January 2018, there have been multiple rounds of heavy artillery firing, including firing mortar shells and shooting from helicopters, in Lawt Mai Yang area Sumprabum Township. The fighting affected Lawt Mai Yang, Nhtang Zup villages and Ndup Yang IDPs camp where over 700 villagers and IDPs are staying. The IDPs and villagers have fled to forest areas and are trying to search for safe places. On 22 January, 5 rounds of mortar shells were fired near the Early Child Care Centre of NDup Yang IDP camp. This is the second time for these villagers to be displaced. They were displaced in 2012 and returned to their villages in 2016. The civilians are terrified by this incident and living with grave anxiety and fear.

Currently, the river route from Tayang Zup up-stream is blocked and boats re not permitted to travel beyond Ningma. Urgent needs of the IDPs are shelter and basic food items. Children are also facing health problems, including diarrhoea, coughing, vomiting and fever.

Meanwhile, fighting also broke out in Tingkawk village, Hpakan Township western part of Kachin State (on the way to Tani Town) on 20 and 21 January. There was heavy artillery fired at Tingkawk village on 21 January. Terrified, the villagers fled inside the church compound during fighting. There were no civilian casualties reported, however. The locals stated that the schools would be closed if armed clashes were to reoccur.

The major concerns for IDPs and civilian population in the region are protection, safety, and security. Sustained humanitarian access and immediate response is critical for the IDP and civilian population in the conflict-affected area of Kachin State. Heavy militarization further posits a challenge for civilians.

Contact: Gum Sha Awng (Mr.) at [email protected]  Mobile +959192913

Joint Strategy Team – Bridging Rural Integrated Development ans Grassroot Empowerment (BRIDGE), Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Kachin Relief and Development Committee (KRDC), Kachin Women Association (KWA), Kachin Development Group (KDG), Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS), Metta Development Foundation (METTA, Nyein (Shalom) Foundation and Wunpawng Ningthoi (WPN).

Download this update HERE.

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