Fighting between the Myanmar Government Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) has intensified recently in several places in Sumprabum, Tanai and Waing Maw townships in Kachin State, resulting in multiple civilian casualties, displacement and mass panic.
Aerial bombing and heavy artillery mortar shelling took place in amber mining areas of Tanai Township between 25 January and 27 January afternoon. Two civilians were killed and at least four were injured as a result. About 2,000 civilians, including villagers and migrant workers, trapped in the conflict-affected areas have yet to be able to escape. The populations from Tanai area including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are terrified by the intensification of fighting. Moreover, strict restrictions of rice and fuel transport are causing food shortages in the area.
On 27 January 2018 (starting from 7:00pm), multiple rounds of heavy artillery were shelled towards Laiza, and a few of them landed in Munglai Hkyet, which is a part of Woi Chyai IDP camp where many IDPs have been taking shelter. This is a third time within two months of heavy artillery firing and mortar shelling that the IDPs from that area have faced. The IDPs and civilians alike were gravely terrified and, with great anxiety throughout the night, packed their belongings to be ready to flee at any given moment.
Joint Strategy Team – Bridging Rural Integrated Development and 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 Ninghtoi (WPN