Lull in fighting allows access to thousands displaced in Myanmar

By Mizzima
02 December 2015
Lull in fighting allows access to thousands displaced in Myanmar
IDP camp at Hai Pa in Shan State. Photo: SHRF

Aid workers are planning to take advantage of a lull in fighting in Myanmar’s Shan State to assess the needs of thousands of people displaced by clashes between the military and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), according to a report on the IRIN website on 1 December.
Myanmar’s military has used airstrikes as well as ground troops against the SSA-N, and fierce exchanges have forced civilians to flee. The attacks, which erupted on 6 October, have prevented humanitarian workers from reaching internally displaced people in the central Shan State township of Mongshu.
“With a pause in the fighting, the UN is currently planning to visit two IDP sites in the Mongshu area that were previously inaccessible due to insecurity to conduct an assessment of humanitarian needs,” said Mark Cutts, head of the Myanmar office of the United Nations emergency aid coordination body, OCHA.
About 10,000 people have been displaced by the fighting since 6 October, according to the Shan Human Rights Foundation. But a member of the group, Sai Hor Hseng, told IRIN that exact numbers are hard to determine because some people are in camps, while others are staying with relatives, and many are going back and forth to their farms to harvest crops.
The UN estimates that about 4,000 people remain in temporary locations, while others have returned home as fighting waned over the past few days. “The UN has not been able to independently verify these figures and the situation remains fluid and figures continue to vary,” Cutts told IRIN.